As parting “gift,” Pruitt refuses to follow EPA rules limiting super-polluting trucks on U.S. roads

Washington, D.C. July 11, 2018 — In response to the Trump administration’s refusal to enforce limits on super-polluting glider trucks, Jack Gillis, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America and author of The Car Book, said, “By effectively reinstating the glider loophole for heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standards, the EPA is refusing to fulfill its most basic responsibility to the American people. Allowing the unmitigated sale of these dirty, inefficient trucks will seriously harm consumers’ health and pocketbooks as well as our country’s economic and job conditions. It will hurt the companies and thousands of workers who are designing and building new, efficient, clean technologies aimed at meeting our strong, national truck efficiency standards.”

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said on his last day that the agency would not enforce its own laws limiting glider trucks, allowing inefficient diesel engines to be placed into new truck “shells,” allowing these trucks to avoid meeting the efficiency and emissions standards required of all new truck manufacturers. These glider trucks use far more fuel and produce far more emissions than the engines in newly manufactured vehicles that have to meet the standards.

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“The Trump administration got rid of Scott Pruitt, now they must get rid of Pruitt’s decision to ignore the law,” said Gillis.

Pruitt’s refusal to limit glider trucks sales will result in:

  • More pollution per year than all of the vehicles involved in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal (according to the Union of Concerned Scientists-UCS);
  • Just 5 percent of the fleet producing one-third of diesel emission from long haul trucks (according to UCS); and,
  • Up to 12,800 deaths and countless other health issues including chronic breathing problems and asthma, (according to UCS).

“While these environmental impacts are very detrimental, Pruitt’s decision essentially weakens a standard that saves consumers money,” continued Gillis. Fuel costs associated with shipping goods significantly impact the price of everything we buy, from a carton of milk to a flat screen TV. The glider loophole will diminish the 50 percent reduction in fuel consumption that the heavy-duty truck standards were projected to deliver which would have saved Americans $29.5 billion dollars.

“CFA polling shows that Americans understand that they pay the price of big truck fuel costs. In fact, the average American household spends $1,100 a year to cover the cost of fueling trucks. If the standards are fully implemented, American households will save $250 dollars per year in the cost of goods and services. Pruitt’s glider decision eats into those savings, hurting the very population of hard working Americans that the administration vowed to protect,” said Gillis.

Ironically, another victim of Pruitt’s glider decision are the big truck and engine manufacturers who have made big investments on advanced efficiency technologies. “Pruitt’s action has eviscerated the consistent, long-term regulatory framework that provided the market certainty that these companies need to invest, expand and hire with confidence,” said Gillis.  “Markets work best when there’s a level playing field. Pruitt’s action will tip the scales unfairly and penalize those companies doing the right thing.”

“Reducing fuel consumption by the nation’s transportation sector, whether it’s for freight or families, should be a top priority for this administration.  It’s a win for corporations who’ve invested in new technology and for families needing economic relief,” added Gillis.