Second phase of fuel economy, emissions standards for heavy trucks sent to OMB for approval

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Updated Apr 3, 2015

Diesel fuel dispenserA federal rule to up the fuel economy standards of medium- and heavy-duty trucks has been sent from the Department of Transportation to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for its stamp of approval, moving the rule one step closer to publication.

The new fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards would go into effect for 2018 model year vehicles, building upon the Phase 1 fuel economy and emissions standards that went into effect last year and build to 2018.

Phase 2 of the efficiency and emissions standards come from executive action taken by President Barack Obama in February 2014, when he ordered the DOT and EPA to develop the 2018 standards.

In a speech delivered then, Obama said heavy trucks represent just 4 percent of vehicles on U.S. highways yet produce 20 percent of all the transportation sector’s GHG emissions.

As the action comes from executive action rather than legislation, a successor to Obama could undo the action.

To take effect, the rule still must be cleared by the OMB and be published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register with a public comment period. Then, the DOT and EPA must develop a Final Rule and have it cleared by the OMB before publication.