After sweeping the Senate yesterday in a 27-3 vote, the state of Oregon took a small, but meaningful, step in its attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposal, dubbed House Bill 2081, would limit a truck’s idling time to five minutes per hour, strictly enforced by a $180 fine, an article in The Register-Guard notes.
According to the site, the law would exclude reefers (such as those constantly monitored by Road Scholar Transport’s knowledgeable staff), the loading/unloading of a shipment, servicing/repairing a truck, armored trucks, or if there is a need for air conditioning/heating due to harsh outside weather conditions.
Senator Starr acknowledged three main benefits to for House Bill 2081: it will help reduce emissions, create a uniform law throughout Oregon, and save the industry money.
In a release by idleAIR, promoting their product which is said to be “an alternative to idling…allowing truck drivers to turn off their diesel engines and APU’s and still enjoy heating, cooling”…etc, “one hour of idling produces 23.37 pounds of emissions into the environment” as well as “burns 1 Gallon of diesel per hour” (http://www.idleair.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Fleet-Benefits-rev2.pdf). And that’s just one truck! Imagine having a fleet of over 95 tractors and 350 trailers like Road Scholar Transport.
That’s why Road Scholar has taken several steps in an effort to reduce emissions and aid in our initiative to go green. One of these endeavors include purchasing several new tractors that contain APUs (auxiliary power units) providing air conditioning/heating without having to idle the engine, thus reducing carbon emissions and saving on fuel. These new trucks also contain exhaust systems that are 42 times cleaner than a 2007 tractor. Now that’s green.
Although Oregon’s proposed rule would benefit the environment, not everyone is in favor of its passing, one of them being Senator Burdick. In response to the rule seeking to prevent “local governments from establishing their own rules in the future to regulate truck idling in any way,” she believes that “cities should have the right to control truck idling within their borders, and this bill deprives them of that right.”
But Senators Beyer and Edwards were quick to rebut Sen. Burdick’s concerns. Sen. Beyer claims that cities can still direct truck routes, handling where emissions are let off and both stated that states could still “set idling regulations for their own fleet of vehicles” (http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26320275-41/bill-idling-trucks-industry-truck.html.csp).
With Beyers in agreement, Sen. Edwards believes that although the legislation can be stricter, the bill is a “baby step” towards the right direction.
According to The Register-Guard, changes to House Bill 2081 will cause it to return to the House for approval.