Phase 2 preview: GHG rules designed as a win-win?

Margo Oge, one of the chief architects of the overarching greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations that are currently mandating fuel economy improvements for U.S. light vehicles and heavy trucks alike, says that a major “good story” being overlooked about them is how they are designed so that “everybody wins” in the end – especially commercial fleets.

“It is really what I call ‘smart regulation,’ much smarter than what we did before,” Oge said, referring to rules that phased in reductions in diesel particulate and oxides of nitrogen emissions between 2002 and 2010.

“Under the emissions rules, we significantly reduced air pollution, resulting in cleaner air benefits for society. But did that cost more money to the fleets? Of course,” Oge (seen at left) explained. “The owners of the trucks did not get anything directly from those rules, though society gained.”

That’s why the GHG regulations are different – even the contentious Phase II section of the rules, which are expected to be released this week.

“Because these rules [GHG regulations] produce payback not just to society, but the truck owners save money by reducing fuel consumption,” she said. “Everybody gains. That’s the most important lesson; that is the good story here.”

Sean Kilcarr’s complete interview with Oge is available on FleetOwner.com. 

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