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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:

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A rare storm system working its way from the west coast has caused millions of dollars in damage, left many without power and spurred fires from California to Colorado. According to USA Today, wind speeds reached as high as 123 miles per hour, or the equivalent of a category three hurricane. In Eldorado County, California, a total of seven fires burnt more than 130 acres as the harsh winds whipped fueled the flames. In Southern California alone, 350,000 people lost power due to downed lines. Of

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If you're not sure why today's announcement from the Obama Administration about the first-ever fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses is important, read this.

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South Carolina-based BMI Corporation and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a simple set of aerodynamic fairings that reduce fuel consumption of long-haul semi trucks by up to 12 percent. The aerospace-inspired add-ons, which BMI calls the SmartTruck UnderTray System, include five individual components that work in harmony to reduce the drag coefficient of tractor trailers. Specifically, the aero add-ons reduce the low pressure area that forms behind a truck.

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The UK's Department for Transport (DFT) has released the results of its study on the impact of longer semi-trailer trucks. The findings suggest that the use of longer trailers would slash emissions without compromising road integrity or safety.

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The California Air Resources Board (CARB), in coordination with six local air districts,* is offering $106 million in funds to assist qualified diesel semi truck owners with upgrades, retrofits or replacements of their rigs in an effort to reduce emissions.

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BMI Corporation, along with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have developed a set of aerodynamic fairings that are claimed to reduce fuel consumption of long-haul semi trucks by 7-12 percent. The aerodynamic add-ons, which BMI calls the SmartTruck UnderTray System, include five individual components that reduce the drag coefficient of tractor trailers.

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Passenger cars and light-duty trucks will be subjected to stringent new emission standards in the near future. Heavy-duty vehicles are not being left out of the mix and will have their own regulations intended to slowly lead to cleaner vehicles delivering goods across the nation. That's a good thing.

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Sure, a six-foot protrusion sticking off the rear end of any vehicle is kinda funny looking. Unless we're talking about a Porsche 917/30 or a Plymouth Superbird. Those cars have some very fine rear extensions. Okay, fine – a six-foot protrusion looks a little bit weird when growing out of a semi-truck's rear. Happy?

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