Coke truckYesterday, the EPA and Department of Transportation proposed the first national  greenhouse gas emission standards and fuel efficiency improvements for medium and heavy-duty trucks, vans, and buses starting in 2014.

The historic step addresses vehicles previously excluded from America’s fuel economy guidelines.

Currently, the vehicles in these categories account for 20% of the transportation sector’s carbon emissions. The new standards could save 500 million barrels of oil and cut emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons over the life of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles. The move will improve air quality, as well.

“Whether you’re an independent contractor who relies on a pickup truck or an independent operator of a full-size semi, shrinking fuel costs will mean more money in your pocket,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Some of those fuel-cost savings will also reduce transportation costs for businesses.”

The announced proposal will be followed by a 60-day comment period. Read the proposal and submit your comments on the EPA website or the NHTSA website.

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