Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Change the speed limit and you reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced by commercial trucking. And you don't need a new clean air act to do it. Just the will to do it.

Trucking Alliance Leader says "Canada could do better"

Vehicle Emissions Canada Transportation Act Review Panel
The trucking industry is a large and growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, currently accounting for about 27% of total emissions from the transport sector.

Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990 - 1999

GHGs from Transport, driven by increases in trucking activity and the number of private Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and vans on the road, rose by 24%. Emissions from light duty trucks, which include pick-up trucks, SUVs and vans, have increased by 57% since 1990, while emissions from cars have actually decreased 7%. The Canadian vehicle fleet is growing and shifting towards more light duty trucks that, on average, emit 40% more GHGs per kilometer than cars.

Report to Parliament Under the Energy Efficiency Act 2004-2005

Chapter 6 – Transportation

Total transportation energy use increased by 25.7 percent (483 petajoules) over 1990 to 2003 freight transportation energy use increased by 40.1 percent (271 petajoules).

The transportation sector accounts for 27.9 percent (2361 petajoules) of secondary energy use and 33.6 percent (169 megatonnes) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. From 1990 to 2003, transportation energy use increased by 25.7 percent, and GHG emissions increased by 25.0 percent. The change in GHG intensity of transportation energy use was negligible.

Trucking Energy Intensity and Average Activity per Truck, 1990 to 2003.

And it appears some in the industry are willing to go with a reduced speed limit. Typical of Canadian environment policy when it comes to commercial trucking our policy is made in the USA using NAFTA as the excuse to not create a made in Canada policy around road speed reduction. Ironically as the American trucking industry lobbies for such a reduction it uses the Ontario Trucking Association lobbying for exactly this as an example....

Carriers join special interest group in petitioning for made-in-America speed limiter rule

Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, has submitted a letter of support for this measure to the FMCSA. The petition will be available for public comment as soon as it is docketed for rulemaking by the federal agency.

Last year, the Ontario Trucking Association was the first trucking lobby group to propose speed limiters on trucks. The group pledged at the time it would export its idea across North America.

Since then, the OTA -- which has argued speed limit set at 105 km/h would reduce accidents, save fuel, and cut emissions -- has been successful in getting the endorsements of other provincial trucking associations and continues to market the idea nation wide under the banner of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

The fear that Independent operators have is that this will mean longer trips, more time on the road and the incease possibilty of accidents and burnout from long shifts. So coincidental with lowering the speed, new hours of work regulations need to be applied in the NAFTA transportation corridor.

Th industry lobby wants to reduce road speeds to 70 mph. When in reality 55-65 miles per hours would produce even greater reductions in emmissions as we learned in the 70's.




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