An effort by diesel truckmakers such as Daimler and Volvo to effectively block Navistar International Corp. from making non-compliant engines and pay a compensatory fine to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has gone, yes, up in a cloud of exhaust smoke, Bloomberg News reports.

Daimler, Volvo, Detroit Diesel and Mack Trucks all objected to a "pay-for-play" type allowance that let Navistar make diesel truck engines that don't comply with EPA pollution standards and then pay a fine as a result. While the competing truckmakers said they suffered "economic harm" from the allowance, a Washington, DC, appeals court threw the case out. The judge called the claims within the Daimler-led lawsuit against the EPA "speculative," Bloomberg says.

Truck emissions have been a hot-button issue of sorts in recent years. In 2011, the Obama Administration laid out the first-ever fuel-economy mandates for heavy-duty trucks, saying at the time that trucks will be required to increase fleetwide fuel economy by 20 percent by 2018. Those rules, which applied to all trucks over 8,500 pounds, were said to cut emissions by about 250 million metric tons and reduce oil usage by 500 million barrels during the lifetime of the trucks.


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  • 12 Comments
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like Tesla and the ZEV credits. I look at all this as the world wanting automakers to clean up their acts. We realize that their vehicles are causing damage. We don't want to lose the industry or for them to lose their business so we are giving them alternative ways to comply, for now. The writing is on the wall that we expect them to do better. As far as I am concerned, this is a nice compromise. I have a good handle on personal vehicles and EV's are the way to go there. For trucking, flying, and shipping, I don't think batteries are the answer. I'm curious to see what alternative will be the winner in that area.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        @ Grendal Every issue has two sides. Australia experimented with a comprehensive Carbon Tax, only to discover it not only proved unpopular, but ineffective. Incentives work better than punitive taxes. Taxes can be passed on to consumers, incentives appeal directly to customers, and manufacturer alike. As a "compromise' ,what is actually accomplished ? If the object of the exercise is to eliminate emissions, how does paying the government for a licence to produce emissions, reduce emissions? There's also a fair bit of hypocrisy involved. If the entire US truck fleet, magically produced no emissions at all, it wouldn't equal the toxic emissions created by just 2 container ships calling at American ports every day.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Thanks for the detailed reply. I will do some research for myself. But I will be another voice fighting against this destructive practice. Thanks for the information.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Grendal Actually, the problem of Marine Grade No 6 fuel (Bunker oil pollution) is neither 'small' nor difficult to solve. Pollution from the bunker oil powered ships, kills an established 130, 000 people each year. Current research reveals this figure to only account for 5-10 % of the true figure. Bunker Oil's toxic emissions affect the entire food chain. 3-4 million per year may contract a form of cancer (including children) from this toxic fuel. Bunker oil emissions are between 8-12 % of total climate change emissions, and certainly the most toxic. Damage to the world oceans, including the ability for the ocean to absorb CO2, could be soon irreversible. Even those who don't agree with the opinions of climate scientists, can't deny the danger to human heath of a proliferation of a global carcinogenic poison. But here's the sad irony, bunker oil in modern shipping, is no longer even all that economic ! Due to the nature of world trade, and the economic concentration of world shipping hubs, if a a relatively small number of countries ( all western democracies) simply banned ships rigged for bunker oil from entering their harbors, 80% of all shipping tonnage would be forced to comply. The economic rationale for bunker oil usage, is no longer so great that the cost could not be quickly absorbed, and newer ships would be more not less economic. Building new ships, capable of operating on bunker oil, would be uneconomic. As the old ships were phased out, the planets single largest form of pollution, would also cease to be profitable to produce in large quantities. Conversion of just 100 large container ships, (or 0.01 of the world's fleet) from using bunker oil, would equal the emissions from all the motorbikes, cars, buses, and trucks on the planet ! The frustrating part of all this, is that no one, not even the oil companies, denies the above facts, yet support for change is almost non existent ! "Green" politicians, rant above the evils of environmental mice, (like V8 cars), while carefully ignoring the huge monster in the corner of the room.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          It is certainly a very complex problem. Personal vehicles are just one piece of a much bigger emissions puzzle. Governments have the unlucky task of guiding this global change. Transportation, energy, industry, populations, and resources are all in this unbelievably vast complex worldwide problem. We all need to work together both as individuals and governments to better our future and make sure there is a future for our descendants. I realize I'm generalizing in a big way but that is how big these issues are. I've heard you mention the bunker oil ships and those types of small but highly damaging problems need to be recognized and dealt with. Being corrected in a positive way and not in a destructive one would be a good solution. Governments, like people, can easily bully a smaller government into making one of their businesses comply to an arbitrary set of rules. I don't envy the governments that need to figure all this out. Trust me that I'm aware my candy coated platitudes are not that good but it just goes to show how difficult a problem this is. Ships are especially difficult problem since they move between borders and countries. The oceans are neutral territory and there is always a poor government willing to take some cargo ships money in exchange for protection and freedom from rules.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Grendal Thank you Grendal, I'm sure you'll be just as appalled as I when I started to research the facts. I didn't even mention the devastation to the marine environment created by discharges, and maritime disasters created by this toxic glunk ! What really scares me is the 14 to22 large ships that pass through the world heritage Australian Great Barrier Reef , every day. Each ship carries enough bunker oil to destroy the reef forever ! ( Odd, some anonymous troll has down voted ! Or maybe, there's at least one bunker oil fan out there !)
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes, you have to go after the big pollution sources as well as the millions of small ones. So, would this fine be considered a carbon tax? As long as the money gets put towards reducing pollution from other sources or switching vehicles to non-oil based engines, I would be ok with it. I can understand why the competitors would be upset, and it seems like they are taking the easy way out and not engineering a better solution. And with the types of people who buy trucks, I would worry that the most polluting trucks would be considered 'manly' and sticking it to Obama...
        Jim McL
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        This is not a carbon tax, in this case Navistar's engines exceeded the limit for nitrous oxides. (Think of it as reducing acid rain and asthma, more or less.) They tried to use a technique called "massive exhaust gas recirculation" instead of the "selective catalytic reduction" (SCR) that everyone else in the business went with. Many say it was bad management, not bad engineering. But Navistar had an even bigger problem than the excess pollution, since their engines also performed poorly. The market was rejecting Navistar. They have switched back to SCR engines made by Cummins, but Navistar is still losing money.
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is it possible to blend nat gas in these trucks ?
        Jesse Gurr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        maybe after heavy modification. Natgas needs a spark plug where diesel doesn't. Maybe if they built it like that out of the factory it wouldn't be so bad. But i doubt they would do it.
          goodoldgorr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jesse Gurr
          I found this. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/10/20131021-gas.html
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      What dollar amount in fines does Mercedes pay for their failure to meet CAFE standards? https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDIQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nhtsa.gov%2Fstaticfiles%2Frulemaking%2Fpdf%2Fcafe%2FCAFE_Fines-Jan2012.pdf&ei=7OFjUuOZI9Kq4AOg7oCgCw&usg=AFQjCNEyuKK24CLOUrjGzlKLNJX-0BP-Wg&sig2=GsWrcpY3vuidTQmJs3yujw&bvm=bv.54934254,d.dmg&cad=rja