The tail pipes and smoke stacks of the giants on the US roads are causing death and disease for far too many people. While this may sound like ‘green hyperbole’, the facts reflect the reality. Truck pollution in US accounts for about 50% of the soot pollution and 1/4th of the smog-causing pollution on the US highways. Clocking just 6% of the total highway miles driven, the trucks and trailers contribute the same percentage to America’s global warming pollution. Truck pollution in US is leaving a huge carbon footprint on the face of the Earth, and is something that needs to be addressed today if we are to build a sustainable future for our children.
At a conservative estimate, the nitrogen oxide and fine particulates released by a trailer truck equals that of 150 passenger cars. Despite the stringently applied US Pollution prevention laws, which limits car emissions, trucks and larger vehicles have been given a slacker rein. Since the 1970s, trucks and trailers have been releasing about five times more emissions per mile than other vehicles. In addition, they consume around 10% of the nation’s total oil consumption, adding significantly reducing to the US carbon footprint.
The next generation of trucks that we may see on our roads in the coming years will need to abide by the more stringent directives that have been introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) . One way to address truck pollution in US would be to introduce vehicles that follow the EPA’s Heavy-Duty Highway Diesel Rules which makes it mandatory to emit 90% fewer particulates and 75-90% less nitrogen oxide than former models. This idea will take time to bear fruit because many of the trucks on the road today are models that were built earlier than 2007 and are thus free from following the new rules.
The US federal government has also issued mandates that regulate the sulfur content of diesel fuels and have put the new limit of sulfur in diesel at 97% less than before. It is the most significant step towards ensuring that all diesel vehicles irrespective of their make and the year of assembly will now emit less obnoxious fumes.
The official anticipation is that more fuel efficient trucks along with greener fuel will, in due course of time, bring down the release of pollutants from trucks to the level of passenger cars and light trucks. Biodiesel, produced from renewable plant crops, is slowly but surely gaining in popularity and promises to cut down on the emissions significantly. Hybrid diesel-electric trucks are gradually gaining recognition among sustainable shipping circles. These emission and fuel saving technologies are sure to make a dent in the pollution index of America. Sustainable shipping is gaining ground like never before
Until these measures are strictly adopted, Peer to Peer shipping provides the perfect answer to the problems of truck pollution in US. In an effort to combat massive inefficiencies in the trucking industry, for example, the large fraction (around 30%) of trucks that return empty after delivering their loadCitizenShipper has devised a method were smaller companies can avoid having to book expensive trucks for their deliveries. Peer to Peer shipping is a win-win situation for all involved – the drivers earn some extra money driving somewhere they had planned to drive anyway, without diverting from their original routes. And the customer gets a discounted price and a good delivery time frame. Most importantly, the fuel saved through Peer to Peer shipping also reduces the carbon footprint of the entities involved.
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