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U.S. To Bolster Air Defense Along Russian Border: What That Means

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U.S. To Bolster Air Defense Along Russian Border: What That Means

The DoD will be sending additional fighters to the Baltics, and possibly Poland, to beef up the NATO air policing roles along Russia’s border with greater Europe.

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March 5th, 2014

Obama announces higher semi truck MPG standards for March 2016

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President Obama speaks on truck mpg standards

As promised in the State of the Union address, President Obama has delivered more details on the higher fuel economy standards his administration is working on for big trucks. The proposed plan, which Obama called “ambitious” in his speech today, will be applied to medium and heavy-duty vehicles and comes with three main parts:

  1. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) will need to “develop and issue the next phase of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by March 2016.” That means that the historic big rig standards proposed in 2011 (for model year 2014 through 2018 vehicles) will get updated and raised. This is key, the White House says, since heavy-duty vehicles “accounted for approximately 25 percent of on-road fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector” in 2010. For the record, 10.7 miles per gallon represents a highly efficient semi truck.
  2. The government wants the private sector to offer even more efficient trucks, adding things like hybrid powertrains and more aerodynamic designs to the expressway trucks. In 2010, the Obama Administration started the SuperTruck program that is trying to show how a Class 8 truck can improve its “freight hauling efficiency” by 50 percent by 2015.
  3. End the $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies and put the money saved into an Energy Security Trust Fund and use it for things like tax credits for cellulosic biofuels.

The president made the announcement at a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, MD. Being ambitious is important, the President said, because “these are areas where ambition has worked out really well for us so far. … Every time someone says you can’t grow the economy, while bringing down pollution, it turns out they’ve been wrong. Anybody who says we can’t compete when it comes to clean energy technologies – like solar and wind – they’ve had to eat those words.”

The trucking industry, represented by the Heavy Duty Fuel Efficiency Leadership Group, as well as outside groups like ACEEE and the Union of Concerned Scientists, were all receptive to the proposal, as you can see in their statements below.

Continue reading Obama announces higher semi truck MPG standards for March 2016

Obama announces higher semi truck MPG standards for March 2016 originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 18 Feb 2014 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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February 18th, 2014

Obama’s call for greener trucks could save every household $250 annually

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Semi-trucks in a row

In his State Of The Union speech last week, President Obama made mention of higher fuel economy standards for big trucks. We all know (or should, at least), that picking up the low-mpg stragglers in our vehicle fleet is where we can make big efficiency gains, but what would greener trucks mean for the average American – besides some cleaner air, hopefully?

We can easily imagine how lower refueling costs can reduce shipping costs, but the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has done the math. The CFA found that an aggressive CAFE-style regulations for semi trucks – with aggressive here meaning cutting fuel use by “nearly 50 percent” – could end up saving $29.5 Billion, which is the equivalent of $250 per US household. The reason, according to Mark Cooper, the Director of Research for the CFA and the author of Paying the Freight: The Consumer Benefits of Increasing the Fuel Economy of Medium and Heavy-Duty Trucks (PDF), is that Americans currently pay an average of $1,100 per household towards medium and heavy duty truck fuel costs (based on 2010 data) and that any lowering in this cost will be passed through to consumers “because the transportation sector is very competitive.”

Now, the President did not say anything about slicing big rig fuel use in half – the White House fact sheet simply says, “The President will propose new incentives for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that run on alternative fuels like natural gas and the infrastructure needed to deploy them, and the Administration will set new fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty vehicles.” – so don’t go spending that $250 quite yet.

Continue reading Obama’s call for greener trucks could save every household $250 annually

Obama’s call for greener trucks could save every household $250 annually originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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February 5th, 2014

SOTU: President Obama promises tougher truck mpg standards, more renewable energy

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State of Union speech President Obama

The green car rhetoric of President Obama’s State Of The Union speech last night was much, much softer than it was three years ago. That was when he spoke about a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. It was even less vociferous than last year, when Obama said we could take money given to oil and gas companies and put it into an “Energy Security Trust.” So, what is the state of the green car union for 2014? In a word: renewable. In two more words: natural gas.

“The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact” – President Obama

President Obama said that, “America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades,” thanks to both natural gas (which is a good thing, “if extracted safely”) and an ever-growing amount of solar energy. He said that another American home or business “goes solar” every four minutes and he called on Congress to “help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.” On the regulatory side, Obama said he would work “in the coming months” to set a new fuel economy standard for trucks. This means heavy trucks like semis, as light-duty trucks are already covered in the 54.5 miles per gallon CAFE standard for 2025 agreed to in 2011. The President did not mention biofuels or plug-in vehicles in his speech. He did acknowledge new General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who was a guest of the First Lady.

As is usual with a State of the Union speech, details were scarce, so we’ll have to see how this all plays out in the coming months. One thing that did come across loud and clear, though, was that Obama does not want to discuss the matter with global warming deniers. “The debate is settled,” he said, “Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say ‘Yes, we did.’”

You can find the full transcript of the SOTU speech here or watch it here. We have reactions from some groups in the green car sector available below.

Continue reading SOTU: President Obama promises tougher truck mpg standards, more renewable energy

SOTU: President Obama promises tougher truck mpg standards, more renewable energy originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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January 29th, 2014

Report: Cadillac to vie for Secret Service armored car contract, new Beast?

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President Obama's Presidential Limo, a.k.a.

President Obama has used the same armored limo since his inauguration in 2008. Known by many as The Beast, the Presidential Limo was provided by Cadillac and earned its nickname in large part because of its massive size, which isn’t surprising considering that its Caddy-shaped bodywork is said to sit atop a heavy-duty truck chassis.

It seems the Secret Service may be in the market for a Beast replacement, having issued a request for proposals for a new armored limo. According to Motor Trend, Obama’s backup limo is a leftover from the Bush Administration, so it will be interesting to see if this new machine will serve as a replacement for The Beast or for its backup. The contract is to be awarded by September 29, 2013.

The boys from MT contacted Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler, and Chrysler is the only one that would confirm that it is not pursuing the contract. Cadillac may have the inside track, as it has provided Presidential limos since 1993, but Lincoln also has a long and storied history of chauffeuring the President.

Since the entire project is classified (should we even be talking about this?), we don’t expect to hear any information from The White House or any automakers before actually seeing its results. That said, stay tuned for any more information if and when we hear it.

Cadillac to vie for Secret Service armored car contract, new Beast? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Jul 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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July 3rd, 2013

Report: Cadillac to vie for Secret Service armored car contract, new Beast?

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President Obama's Presidential Limo, a.k.a.

President Obama has used the same armored limo since his inauguration in 2008. Known by many as The Beast, the Presidential Limo was provided by Cadillac and earned its nickname in large part because of its massive size, which isn’t surprising considering that its Caddy-shaped bodywork is said to sit atop a heavy-duty truck chassis.

It seems the Secret Service may be in the market for a Beast replacement, having issued a request for proposals for a new armored limo. According to Motor Trend, Obama’s backup limo is a leftover from the Bush Administration, so it will be interesting to see if this new machine will serve as a replacement for The Beast or for its backup. The contract is to be awarded by September 29, 2013.

The boys from MT contacted Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler, and Chrysler is the only one that would confirm that it is not pursuing the contract. Cadillac may have the inside track, as it has provided Presidential limos since 1993, but Lincoln also has a long and storied history of chauffeuring the President.

Since the entire project is classified (should we even be talking about this?), we don’t expect to hear any information from The White House or any automakers before actually seeing its results. That said, stay tuned for any more information if and when we hear it.

Cadillac to vie for Secret Service armored car contract, new Beast? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Jul 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Published under Cadillac, Lincolnsend this post
July 3rd, 2013
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