RS20459: DIESEL FUEL AND ENGINES: AN OVERVIEW OF NEW EMISSIONS REGULATIONS
Because of their air quality concerns associated with motor vehicle emissions, light-duty and heavy-duty vehicle emission standards will be tightened starting in model year (MY) 2004, and heavy-duty trucks will face even more stringent standards starting in MY2007. These standards could affect the costs and availability of diesel-fueled vehicles because the necessary emission control improvements may be costly, and diesel engines tend to have higher emissions of certain pollutants. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) foresees low per-engine and per-vehicle costs, other stakeholders fear that the necessary technology will not be available by MY2007, or that it will be prohibitively expensive. The new standards will require the use of more effective emissions-control devices, but these devices would be corrupted by the amount of sulfur presently in motor fuels. Therefore, EPA is lowering the allowable sulfur level in gasoline, and has proposed similar measures for diesel fuel. Lower sulfur levels could lead to higher prices for diesel fuel, which would affect the trucking industry, and therefore, consumer goods in general. The extent of the price increase has been a major topic of study and debate recently. Concerns have also been raised about fuel availability and price spikes, especially during the introduction of the new fuel. Although no legislation has been introduced in the 106th Congress regarding diesel-fueled vehicle emissions, the new and pending regulations may be issues for consideration in congressional oversight of EPA's implementation of the Clean Air Act. This report will be updated as events warrant.
- Record URL:
Congressional Research ServiceLibrary of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, SE
Resources, Science and Industry Division
Washington, DC United States 20540-7500
- Yacobucci, B D
- Publication Date: 2000-10-5
- Pagination: 6 p.
- TRT Terms: Air pollution; Air quality; Costs; Diesel engine exhaust gases; Diesel engines; Diesel fuels; Emission control devices; Heavy duty trucks; Heavy duty vehicles; Light vehicles; Motor fuels; Prices; Regulations; Standards; Sulfur
- Identifier Terms: Clean Air Act
- Subject Areas: Finance; Highways; Law;
- Accession Number: 00803667
- Record Type: Publication
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Dec 28 2001 12:00AM