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EPA hails Obama's fuel initiative

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EPA hails Obama's fuel initiative
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announce new fuel economy window stickers for cars in Washington, DC on May 25, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- More efficient trucks on U.S. roads means less pollution in the air and lower energy usage, the top official at the Environmental Protection Agency said.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced that trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons.

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By 2018, the standards are expected to cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent for big rigs and semis, 15 percent for heavy-duty pickups and 10 percent for vehicles such as school buses and garbage trucks.

"More efficient trucks on our highways and less pollution from the buses in our neighborhoods will allow us to breathe cleaner air and use less oil, providing a wide range of benefits to our health, our environment and our economy," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

Obama unveiled new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in July. Over a series of incremental increases, the new standards would impose restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and push fuel efficiency standards to the equivalent of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

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Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee claimed in a letter to Obama and Senate Democrats that the fuel standards were too aggressive.

But Ray LaHood, secretary of the Department of Transportation, said the "new standards will reduce fuel costs for businesses, encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector and promote energy independence for America."

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