UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Drawing a link between reduced fuel consumption and climate change, President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration will issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for delivery trucks by March 2016.
Obama said helping these vehicles use less fuel would have the triple benefit of making the U.S. less dependent on imported oil, keeping more money in consumer pockets and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.
“It’s not just a win-win. It’s a win-win-win,” Obama said at a Maryland distribution center for Safeway, where he was flanked by two delivery trucks. “You got three wins.”
Heavy-duty trucks make up just 4 percent of the vehicles on the nation’s roadways, he said, but are responsible for about 20 percent of the climate-changing gases that are spewed into the atmosphere by the transportation sector.
Obama said ordering the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new standards for the 2018 vehicle model year, and beyond, is an example of the kind of steps he intends to take on his own to bolster the economy when he thinks Congress isn’t doing its job.
The new fuel-efficiency rules would come on top of standards in place for the 2014-2018 model years.
Obama also said companies that want to join an existing public-private partnership focused on energy-efficient vehicles will get specialized resources and technical expertise from the Department of Energy.