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Fuel Efficiency Fallout: Owner-ops don't like regs, Canada on track

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – While most large carriers, truck manufactures and suppliers in the U.S. publicly applauded President Obama's stated fuel efficiency regulations for trucks, a group of owner-operators remains unconvinced.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) called the administration’s first-ever truck fuel standards a "flawed, one-size-fits-all rule" which "ignores input from small-business trucking."

OOIDA insists the rule "overlooks less expensive options to achieve reduced emissions, and will ultimately increase new truck costs."

The rule requires heavy and medium-duty trucks to achieve between 10 and 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018.

“By totally ignoring the impact on small-business trucking, the EPA has demonstrated yet another example of our wretchedly broken regulatory process,” said Joe Rajkovacz, director of Regulatory Affairs for OOIDA. “Congress should take action when they return in September to rein in the bureaucracy and push forward regulatory reform legislation that has already been introduced.”

The Association contends the EPA made an "irresponsible mistake" in its regulatory analysis by "excluding the impact on those who actually buy and drive large trucks and by focusing only on truck manufacturers.

"This approach will only serve to drive up the costs for the small businesses who operate an overwhelming majority of the nation’s trucking businesses," says OOIDA, pointing out that nearly 96 percent of registered motor carriers in the U.S. operate 20 or fewer trucks.

As well, the agency overlooked the most effective fuel-savings method of all,” added Rajkovacz: “Driver training, which is responsible for 35 percent of fuel economy and which costs far less than any new technology, should have been the priority.”
Rajkovacz also criticized the American Trucking Association for its support of the rule:

“The new rule is just another example of big moneyed interests working with government to protect their own bottom line. Instead of standing up for all motor carriers, regardless of size, the American Trucking Associations was out in front in their support of this regulation.”

OOIDA added that it would like would like Congress to "seriously consider" defunding EPA’s SmartWay program "because the adoption of this rulemaking makes the program obsolete and a waste of taxpayer money."

Meanwhile, Canada kept step with Washington by reiterating it too is working on a fuel efficiency rule similar to the Americans'.

Environment Minister Peter Kent announced this week the release of a consultation paper on regulations that would limit emissions from new on-road heavy vehicles, including freight, service and some construction vehicles.

"We are moving forward with our sector by sector approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in coordination with the United States,” said in a release. “Building on our successful collaboration with the United States on the development of common North American standards for light-duty vehicles, we are also working together to do the same for heavy-duty vehicles.”

The consultation paper is intended to provide an opportunity for parties to submit early comments before the proposed regulations are published in the Canada Gazette Part 1 next year.

The proposal is also said to promote hybrid and electric vehicles as a way to reduce truck fuel consumption.  

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the comment about driver training is very true, i really dont care because i will never buy a new truck, a glider kit maybe,i due 100% of repair work myself and realize most don't.between expence of the new truck and downtime spent while builders are perfecting theses improvement make it a sad day for owner operators.as for the poll are increased fuel prices going to put you out of busiess, I think the media screaming about prices dropping on oil and shippers trying to lower rates because of this ( price of fuel has bearly changed in northeast) is going to be responsible.It seems like the slogan should be go green then go in the red.

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