The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation has released a 958-page document that includes new regulations that will reduce emissions and increase the fuel economy for medium and heavy-duty trucks. But NGVAmerica, a national organization dedicated to the development of a growing, sustainable and profitable market for vehicles powered by natural gas or hydrogen, strongly believes that the rules could have been even more effective in reducing emissions and reducing the use of imported petroleum.
“The rules include some regulatory incentives and flexibility for natural gas trucks but should have gone much further in recognizing the benefits of NGVs,” said NGVAmerica President, Richard Kolodziej. “The rules are designed to address the urgent and closely intertwined challenges of dependence on oil, energy security, urban emissions and global climate change. Natural gas vehicles help achieve all these goals and more.”
Accelerating the use of domestically produced natural gas can have the biggest impact on reducing the use of petroleum motor fuel today. Moreover, natural gas is abundant, economical and secure. Every natural gas truck that rolls off an assembly line and is put into service begins backing out 100 percent of the petroleum that would otherwise be used. And yet, the rules finalized today only provide about a 20 percent fuel economy credit for such vehicles.
“That makes little sense,” Kolodziej said. “NGVAmerica and its members made a strong and effective case for a much more significant fuel economy incentive for natural gas trucks, but those arguments were ignored. We also urged the Administration to provide enhanced greenhouse gas emission credits for natural gas trucks, but no such credits were provided either.
“It is unfortunate and disappointing that the Administration is not being more supportive of natural gas powered trucks,” said Kolodziej. “The US currently has the largest selection of medium and heavy-duty natural gas powered truck offerings anywhere in the world. But demand growth for such vehicles in these economic turbulent times has been slow. Adopting the right type of regulatory incentives is a low-cost way to stimulate market demand for such vehicles, but the agencies missed this opportunity.”
NGVAmerica represents more than 130 companies interested in the promotion and use of natural gas and hydrogen as transportation fuels, including: engine, vehicle and equipment manufacturers; fleet operators and service providers; natural gas companies; and environmental groups and government organizations.
(This article compiled using information from an NGVAmerica press release)