Bill would increase truck weight, fuel economy

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A bipartisian bill would increase federal weight limits and fuel-efficiency mandates for heavy trucks. U.S. Sens. Bryon Dorgan, D-N.D., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, introduced the Security and Fuel Efficiency (SAFE) Energy Act on March 14.

According to a statement from Dorgan, the bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation “to increase freight efficiency by raising the maximum allowable gross weight for highway vehicles from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds, so long as road safety is not compromised.”

The legislation also would demand an annual 4 percent increase in the fuel economy of all new vehicles, including heavy trucks, from 2012 to 2030.