Securing America's Future Energy

Report: Proposed NHTSA-EPA Phase 2 Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Rule Would Reduce U.S. Dependence on Oil, but Needs Room for Alternatives

Contact: Ellen Carey
Number: 202-461-2382
New Phase 2 truck rule would save nearly 800,000 barrels of oil per day by 2040, reducing effects of global oil market volatility on this critical sector and improving American energy security. 

Washington, D.C. – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released today an Issue Brief analyzing the potential fuel savings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Phase 2 fuel economy program for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. With such vehicles currently responsible for more than 20 percent of transportation oil demand, the rule as proposed would create significant fuel savings for the sector, but could be improved by incentivizing the use of alternative fuels.

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles represent the fastest growing component of U.S. transportation oil demand, projected to increase from approximately 2.8 mbd consumed today to 3.4 mbd in 2040. Because oil currently powers 92 percent of the transportation sector, strengthening fuel economy standards for these vehicles is a critical part of any effort to enhance U.S. energy security.

SAFE’s analysis finds that, in its current state, the proposed Phase 2 standards would reduce oil demand in the medium- and heavy-duty sectors by nearly 500,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) by 2030 and 800,000 bpd by 2040. Furthermore, SAFE believes these numbers can be increased through the inclusion of incentives for alternative fuel technologies.

“Oil’s virtual monopoly over our transportation sector exposes our entire economy to crises around the globe and market manipulation. Our trucking industry, in particular, is regularly exposed to the impacts of this oil price volatility that affects companies’ ability to do business and make investments,” said SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond. “This Phase 2 rule is the product of a collaborative process. Improved fuel efficiency and opportunities to use alternative fuels will give the industry the certainty it needs while creating savings for businesses and consumers and enhancing U.S. energy security.”

The deployment of alternative fuels represents the best long-term solution to the dangers posed by oil dependence. However, the United States will continue to rely substantially on petroleum-based transportation fuels to power its transportation system for many years to come, exposing the nation to profound economic and national security risks. The best way to reduce these risks while that transformation is taking place is to further reduce the oil intensity of the U.S. economy by improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicle fleet. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles represent a crucial component of this effort.


About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is a nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy. SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in fuel efficiency, and in the long-term, breaking oil’s stranglehold on the transportation sector through alternatives like natural gas for heavy-duty trucks and plug-in electric vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil.



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