The nation's largest group of medium- and heavy-duty truck drivers criticized President Obama's new fuel economy rules, which they said would put the price of new trucks out of reach of many truckers.
Todd Spencer, the executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told TruckingInfo.com, that Obama's plan discounts fuel-efficient driving habits.
"Shock and awe may be the best way to describe what's happening to the vast majority in trucking with these proposed regulations," Spencer said. "Each year for the past 10, more and more truckers are squeezed out of the option to buy new equipment because of ever increasing prices due to government requirements that are long on promises but way short on performance."
On Tuesday, Obama announced he would use an executive order to raise federal standards for vehicles weighing at least 8,500 pounds by Match 2016. Obama is establishing three categories of vehicles including vocational vehicles; heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans; and combination tractors.
The vocational vehicle category would cover most medium-duty trucks, including delivery trucks and refuse trucks, as well as buses. Manufacturers of these vehicles would be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by 2018, according to a White House report.
Manufacturers of heavy-duty pickups and vans powered by gasoline or diesel engines would be required to achieve a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions by 2018.
Big rigs in the combination tractor category would be required to achieve a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions by 2018.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation will develop the new rules.