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Ross Professor's Work Cited by President Obama

5/26/2010 --

Martin Zimmerman was one of the contributors to a national report on fuel efficiency standards for commercial trucks.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The work of the Ross School's Martin Zimmerman and two other University of Michigan faculty members was cited last week in a presidential memorandum calling for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks and buses.

President Obama instructed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) to consider in their process the findings and recommendations of a report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to reduce fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Zimmerman, along with John Woodrooffe of the U-M Transportation Research Institute and Dennis Assanis of the U-M College of Engineering, were three of the 18 contributors to the NAS report.

Section 1 of the "Presidential Memorandum Regarding Fuel Efficiency Standards" requests that the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration immediately begin work on a joint rule-making under the Clean Air Act and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to establish fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for commercial medium- and heavy-duty vehicles beginning with model year 2014, with the aim of issuing a final rule by July 30, 2011.

This marks the first time that large commercial trucks will have to meet national fuel economy targets. In Section 1, President Obama specifically requests that the EPA and DOT consider the recommendations of the NAS report, as well as to take into account the market structure of the trucking industry and the unique demands of heavy-duty vehicle applications; job creation within the industry; and applicable state standards.

According to the EPA, commercial trucks account for 21 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector—compared with 33 percent for passenger cars and 29 percent for SUVs, pickups and minivans. The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental advocacy group, said large trucks represent about 4 percent of all vehicles on U.S. highways but use more than 20 percent of the fuel consumed.

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847,