2024JanFeb-CoolingJournal - 21

Trucking is pondering a future
without the diesel engine. Why?
alternative fuels and powertrains may
feel new, but the industry's push toward
low- and zero-emission vehicles isn't.
The Clean Air Act was passed in 1963;
the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) was founded in 1971. The American
government has been working to curb
emissions for 60 years.
The first, and still most stringent, emission
regulations levied on diesel engines and
heavy trucks came in 2007. Progressively
stronger regulations have followed at
regular intervals for two decades, with the
EPA's next round of standards set to take
effect with model year 2027.
California's decision to mandate the sale
of only zero-emission trucks in 2036
accelerates the industry's timeline but isn't
without precedent. Trucking's outsized
influence on vehicle emissions has always
made it a target for regulators.
In releasing its Phase 1 program to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and
improve fuel economy of medium- and
heavy-duty vehicles in 2011, the EPA stated,
" transportation sources emitted 29% of all
U.S. GHG emissions in 2007 and have been
the fastest-growing source of U.S. GHG
emissions since 1990. " The agency also
noted, " within the transportation sector,
heavy-duty vehicles are the fastest-growing
contributors to GHG emissions. "
In 2011, the EPA said its Phase 1 program
would " reduce CO2 emissions by about
270 million metric tons " during 2014-2018.
Seven years later, the EPA predicted
Phase 2 would " lower CO2 emissions by
approximately 1.1 billion metric tons. "
Zeroing in on zero emissions is now the
eventual end game for regulators.
In releasing its " Control of Air Pollution
from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty
Engine and Vehicle Standards " in
December 2022, EPA Administrator
Michael Regan stated the Final Rule was
the first action in EPA's Clean Trucks Plan
" to pave the way toward a zero-emission
future. These rigorous standards, coupled
with historic investments from the
Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan
Infrastructure Law, will accelerate
President Biden's ambitious agenda
to overhaul the nation's trucking fleet,
deliver cleaner air and protect people and
the planet. "
The EPA's regulations were met with
resistance within government and private
enterprise alike. Some detractors felt the
regulations unachievable or too extreme
within the timeline set forth while others,
such as the American Truck Dealers
(ATD), questioned the skyrocketing
costs that would come from the
technological innovation.
" With inflation still at a 40-year high, this
rule imposes between $39 and $55 billion
in new regulatory costs on the American
economy between 2027 and 2045, "
said ATD Chairman Scott McCandless.
" Consumers will suffer the inflationary
effects of the EPA's rules by paying
higher prices for food, clothing and other
consumer products that travel by truck. "
When questioned on those points, the
EPA told Trucks, Parts, Service in July it is
required to " consider whether a standard is
achievable (i.e., feasible) and consider cost,
energy and safety factors of technologies
we project will be used to meet the
standards. " The agency also quoted the
Section 202 of the Clean Air Act that
requires emission regulations " reflect the
greatest degree of emission reduction
achievable through the application of
technology which the Administrator
determines will be available for the model
year to which such standards apply, giving
appropriate consideration to cost, energy
and safety factors associated with the
application of such technology. "
Both houses of Congress passed a
resolution to overturn EPA's December
By: Lucas Deal (TPS Chief Editor)
January/February 2024 | THE COOLING JOURNAL | 19


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