Truck! Truck! Post About Truck! Biden Make Big Truck Not So Stinky! Truck!
Ben Garrison-style labels: the truck is 'GLOBAL WARMING,' and Dennis Weaver's plucky little red Valiant is 'BIDEN'S EPA'

The Biden administration yesterday rolled out new proposed air pollution limits on tractor-trailer trucks, delivery vans, buses, and other heavy vehicles in a much-anticipated Environmental Protection Agency rule that marks the first time in 20 years the government has tightened emissions standards for heavy vehicles. The EPA said in a statement,

The proposed standards would reduce emissions of smog- and soot-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines and set updated greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for certain commercial vehicle categories. This proposed rule would ensure the heavy-duty vehicles and engines that drive American commerce and connect people across the country are as clean as possible while charting a path to advance zero-emission vehicles in the heavy-duty fleet.

The new, higher standards would require a 90 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions by the 2027 model year, and the EPA estimates the health benefits from cleaner air would, by 2045, "exceed its costs by billions of dollars."

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan pointed out in the statement that 72 million Americans, largely people of color and those with low incomes, currently live near truck freight routes, and have higher rates of heart and lung problems than average. The new standards would cut total US emissions of nitrogen oxides by as much as 60 percent by 2045, resulting in greatly improved air quality, not to mention reducing the greenhouse gases that are heating the planet and causing climate change.

Donald Trump liked to pretend he was driving a big-boy truck, beep-beep! Joe Biden, an actual human adult in the room, is making sure those trucks are cleaner and friendlier for the environment.


The new standards were announced Monday by Vice President Kamala Harris, who also announced a number of other federal actions on clean transportation,

including the expenditure of $5.5 billion to help states purchase low or zero-emission transit buses, and $17 million to replace diesel school buses with electric versions in underserved communities.

Those programs were part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last fall.

The EPA says it estimates the following annual benefits will come from the cleaner air we'll have by 2045:

Up to 2,100 fewer premature deaths
6,700 fewer hospital admissions and emergency department visits
18,000 fewer cases of asthma onset in children
3.1 million fewer cases of asthma symptoms and allergic rhinitis symptoms
78,000 fewer lost days of work
1.1 million fewer lost school days for children

Not surprisingly, the trucking industry is very unhappy with the prospect of making other people's children healthier and keeping the planet habitable for large mammals like elephant seals and truck drivers.

“This new standard simply may not be technologically feasible,” said Jed Mandel, president of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, an industry group. “We’re worried about the cost. There is a potential of adverse impacts on the economy and jobs. Nobody wants to see union jobs laid off. Regular lunch-pail, blue collar workers.”

The prospect of union jobs for workers building the new cleaner engines, and the vehicles they'll go in, don't count because those aren't necessarily the people currently making and driving the trucks that are choking us. Also, the trade industry for smaller trucking firms said it would be bad for the stability of the supply chain, as if the disruptions currently resulting from the pandemic will continue another five years. Still, the costs of retooling the trucking industry for green energy sure sounds to us like the kind of thing Congress could help with as part of future climate spending.

The New York Times points out that following the last EPA rules on truck emissions, in 2001, national nitrogen emissions were cut by 40 percent. We bet the trucking industry predicted it could never survive those tighter emissions standards, too — no industry ever exclaims, "Oh fun, new regulations!"

Read More:

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What's In The Build Back Better Bill? Your Servicey Wonkette SUPER MEGA-LISTICLE!

For 'Climate Day,' Shirtless Joe Biden Washes Electric Car In White House Driveway

With progress stalled on the Build Back Better bill, which includes about $555 billion in climate spending over 10 years, the administration is pursuing climate action through the executive branch, which Biden said he planned to do from the start. It would of course be better to get a bill through Congress, since that would be harder for some future wingnut president — or the current wingnut Supreme Court — to reverse.

The new emissions rules are the first in a three-year series of initiatives the EPA calls the "Clean Trucks Plan," which aims at using regulations to reduce pollution from heavy vehicles like trucks and buses, and to get the transportation industry as a whole moving to zero net emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition to the tighter limits on nitrogen oxides, the EPA plans to tighten emissions of greenhouse gases for

subsectors where electrification is advancing at a more rapid pace. These sectors include school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks, and short-haul tractors.

Industry is already moving in some promising directions with electric vehicles. Ford is pushing its new E-Transit line of delivery trucks by emphasizing that vehicle purchasers can also get help with installing charging stations and logistics software, as well as a new network of charging stations Ford is building. Like the F-150 Lightning electric pickup, the E-Transit vans will be available with a bunch of electric outlets built in, for use on job sites.

Read more: Maddow Devoted Half Her Show Last Night To TRUUUUUUUUCK, And It Was Great

Amazon is rolling out its new Rivian electric vans this year, too, with plans for 10,000 to be on the road by the end of the year, and 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2030. And while Amazon is kinda evil, we have to agree with Motor Trend: The vans themselves look like "smiling blue whales."


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In conclusion: Cleaner trucks! Cleanest trucks! Healthy lungs for children and their families trucks! Good for the climate trucks are best trucks! Less vroom-vroom, more humm-humm!

[EPA / NYT / Motor Trend / Car & Driver]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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