Subsequent to the release by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) of the final rulemaking for the first fuel economy and greenhouse gas regulations for medium-and heavy-duty trucks (earlier post), trade association NGVAmerica issued a statement saying that the rules could have been even more effective in reducing emissions and reducing the use of imported petroleum by further recognizing the benefits of natural gas vehicles.
The final rules provide about a 20% fuel economy credit for natural gas vehicles.
That makes little sense. 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. 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 President, Richard Kolodziej