For the first time ever, government is taking steps to regulate fuel economy for medium and heavy trucks. These vehicles are now required to get at least 20% more miles to the gallon by 2018.
The rules mimic the “light duty” fuel economy standards for cars and sport utility vehicles that have been in place since 1975. But they are more complex, tailored to cover vehicles including garbage trucks, which must get a 10 percent improvement, and pickups and vans too big to be covered by the existing rules, which must now make a 15 percent improvement.
The rules are allowed under a law signed by President George W. Bush in 2007, but it has taken until now to devise the program. And Mr. Obama, at a time when there is substantial opposition to new environmental rules, said in a statement that the vehicle owners wanted their trucks to be regulated.