The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is once again in the spotlight, this time by its proposing to allow high-polluting diesel “glider” trucks to operate on America’s roads. A glider truck is one where an older, high-polluting engine is attached to a new chassis and the entire package is then sold as new.
How the so-called environmental protection organization can even consider such a proposal is, in the immortal words of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, “highly illogical,” most especially when considering the content of the Aug. 16, 2016 EPA news release: “EPA and DOT Finalize Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks: Standards address second-largest segment of U.S. transportation in terms of emissions and energy use.”
The EPA then in the release seemed emphatic: “Heavy-duty trucks are the second largest segment and collectively make up the biggest increase in the U.S. transportation sector in terms of emissions and energy use. These vehicles currently account for about 20 percent of GHG emissions and oil use in the U.S. transportation sector. Globally, GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are growing rapidly and are expected to surpass emissions from passenger vehicles by 2030.”
“The final standards are cost effective for customers and businesses, delivering favorable payback periods for truck owners,” the regulatory agency further pronounced. “The buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology in less than two years through fuel savings.’”
The proposal is nothing if it isn’t contradictory.
Adds the Environmental Defense Fund in its Dec. 4, 2017 “EDF Calls on EPA to Protect Americans’ Health from Super-Polluting Glider Trucks at Public Hearing Today” press release: “EPA took action in the 2016 Clean Truck Standards to curb emissions from these super-polluting freight trucks, but [EPA Administrator Scott] Pruitt is now trying to reopen a loophole and allow glider trucks to evade modern pollution controls.”
The EDF further related that there are manufacturers of freight trucks who also had concerns. Speaking to this, the EDF expressed that truck manufacturing firms that invested in pollution-control equipment feared being disadvantaged due to the uneven playing field that would be created should said trucks that meet the pollution standards be forced to share the road with trucks that don’t.
What a mistake it would be to permit operation of said glider trucks on American roadways. Should that prove to be the case, there would be absolutely no winners here.
Lower image above: Dana60Cummins