The debate we should be having is over the size of the environmental benefits from increasing the standards and what expenses are reasonable to bear.
Tampa, FL (PRWEB) April 16, 2016
Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Trucks.com, the trucking news and analysis site, today published a rebuttal to an open letter issued by a coalition of major food brands and retailers urging the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to toughen standards for heavy-duty truck fleets.
The coalition, led by environmental advocacy group Ceres, published the letter Friday, asking the agencies to impose a 40 percent reduction in fuel use by heavy truck fleets by 2025, instead of the proposed 36 percent reduction by 2027. Signatories include General Mills, Annie’s and Ben & Jerry’s.
In the op-ed, published to Trucks.com’s new opinion section, Anwyl, who in 2011 was called to give testimony to Congress about Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, questions the assertion that investing now in alternative fuel technology will pay for itself in fuel savings in two to six years. If true, fleet managers and owners would make the switch now, Anwyl writes. That they’re hesitant to do so means the technology is not proven or it isn’t a good return on investment while diesel remains at $2 per gallon.
“Viewed this way, the proposed increase in fuel-efficiency standards, let alone a more extreme increase, introduces risk through the forced adoption of new technologies,” Anwyl said. “It would also raise costs at a time when the industry is under huge pressure to reduce expenses. In other words, things aren’t as simple as some would suggest.”
Instead, the coalition should make improving the environment the centerpiece of its argument, acknowledging that there will be some costs involved.
“The debate we should be having is over the size of the environmental benefits from increasing the standards and what expenses are reasonable to bear,” Anwyl said. “We also need to talk about who should bear these costs. Should the burden fall on the trucking industry, which provides the wheels upon which our economy rolls? Should it be the consumer who orders a book or a case of bath soap in the evening and expects it to be delivered on their doorstep the next day?”
The op-ed is available here https://www.trucks.com/2016/04/14/dont-use-faulty-economics-for-environmental-argument/.
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