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An objective look at that number -- 9 miles per gallon -- will cause most environmentalists to recoil. But in this one case, they should be rooting for that fuel efficiency standard to become a reality. The EPA is considering updating the fuel economy standards for semis and heavy trucks. It's currently at 6 MPG. And raising that number would have a massive impact on polluting emissions and fuel usage.GreenBiz explains:
The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are considering new mileage standards for that fleet -- which burns up 20 percent of America's transportation fuel and emits the same share of the country's carbon pollution.The results that such a move would have on pollution and greenhouse gas emission reduction is pretty phenomenal.
Right now heavy-duty trucks -- a huge part of the way we move products around in this country -- are clocking just 6 miles per gallon. And the technology is there -- the Union of Concerned Scientists describes it as "existing and near term" -- to move that number by a lot. Maybe even to 9 mpg.
The Union of Concerned Scientists says that increasing the fuel economy standard for heavy trucks would save 100 billion gallons of diesel fuel over the next 20 years. 100 billion. (That number seems to be popping up a lot lately) Essentially, even bumping up the fuel economy for the nation's heavy trucks just 3 MPG would make a world of difference.
Finally, GreenBiz goes on to point out how such efficiency standards would likely triple the number of jobs currently tied to the hybrid and efficient heavy truck sector, providing a permanent boost to the cleantech economy. Win, win. Period.