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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’

New Truck Standards Cut Emissions, Fuel Consumption

Critics slam plan due to $12,000 per-truck cost increase.

by on Jun.22, 2015

New rules on trucks, buses and even large pickup trucks will cut emissions and improve fuel efficiency, but add costs to the truck.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are proposing controversial new standards that would improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including the largest pickup trucks sold by General Motors, Ford and FCA U.S.

The proposed rules would apply to semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks. The rules would require a 24% carbon dioxide emissions cut and fuel consumption less than an equivalent vehicle scheduled for sale in 2018, based on the fully phased-in standards for the tractor alone in a tractor-trailer vehicle. The proposed rules would cover model years 2021-2027.

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The proposed standards are expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons, cut fuel costs by about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. (more…)

EPA Sets Renewable Fuel Standards below Mandate

Cellulosic volume is lower than the Congressional EISA target.

by on Jul.12, 2010

As always, the devil will be in the final rule details after lobbyists shape the regulations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed that the 2011 percentage standards for the four fuels categories under the agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard program must make up 7.95% of total gasoline sales.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) established annual renewable fuel volume targets, reaching an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022 – 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels; 15 billion gallons annually of conventional biofuels; 4 billion gallons of advanced biofuels; and 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel.

The 16-billion gallon cellulosic target looks laughable – EPA is projecting that less than 18 million gallons of the fuel will be available in 2011.

As the implications of the act continue to unfold, critics call it a needless subsidy for agri-business, one that would take food out of production.Hence the push for cellulosic since it can in theory be made form non-agricultural crops on land not in food production.

Mandating demand for products that don’t yet exist or haven’t been proven commercially viable or are not cost effective is the height of U.S. Congressional folly, in their view. In addition, a fierce debate about how much some of these fuels actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions is underway.

Almost every gallon of gasoline now sold in the U.S. contains ethanol: 98% as E10 – up to 10% ethanol for conventional autos, and 2% as E85 – 85% ethanol/15% gasoline for use in flex fuel vehicles only. (See How a Bad Bush Administration Energy Policy Begets More Bad Policy?)

Current law and infrastructure preclude the use of greater than 10% ethanol blends in conventional autos although agricultural industry lobbyists are pushing for higher levels. In 2012, the E10 market reaches saturation at approximately 12.5 – 14 billion gallons of ethanol annually. (See President Takes Steps to Boost Biofuels, Coal Use) EPA is considering upping the required amount of ethanol right now,  but isn’t due to rule until this fall.

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Fuelishness?

To achieve the volumes required by EISA, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year. Based on the standard, each refiner, importer and non-oxygenate blender of gasoline determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must be used in transportation fuel.

The proposed 2011 overall volumes and standards are:

  • Biomass-based diesel (0.80 billion gallons – 0.68%)
  • Advanced biofuels (1.35 billion gallons – 0.77%)
  • Cellulosic biofuels (5 to 17.1 million gallons – 0.004-0.015%)
  • Total renewable fuels (13.95 billion gallons-7.95%)

(more…)

EPA and Shanghai Launch AirNow International

Real time air quality information now in China as well as U.S.

by on May.10, 2010

AirNow provides air quality forecasts and real-time data for nearly 400 U.S. cities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) have launched AirNow International, which provides real-time air quality data reporting from the 2010 World Expo in a city with more than 17 million inhabitants.

The Shanghai EPB will use technology developed by EPA to send air quality data to Shanghai citizens through the Internet.

“AirNow has been an extraordinary tool for helping the public understand air pollution in the United States,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “We’re pleased to be working with Shanghai to use this technology to make real-time air quality data available in China.”

EPA and Shanghai EPB developed AirNow International, building from Shanghai’s existing air quality monitoring system. EPA provided technical assistance to Shanghai.

EPA and China’s air quality collaboration includes advanced air quality modeling to increase understanding of air pollution sources, and to reduce emissions from vehicles, power plants and other industries.

The two countries also are working together to address issues related to climate change, water, toxics, solid and hazardous wastes, and environmental governance.

EPA’s AirNow program has steadily expanded in its 11 years. The program provides air quality forecasts and real-time data reporting for nearly 400 U.S. cities. See http://www.airnow.gov/.