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January 03, 2019   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

A 2019 Wish List by DTF Exec. Dir. Allen Schaeffer

Happy New Year! It’s 2019 officially. We embrace this time in January with hope and aspiration for the new year, so in that form, here’s my wish list for 2019...

Happy New Year! It’s 2019 officially. We embrace this time in January with hope and aspiration for the new year, so in that form, here’s my wish list for 2019...

  1. Wish we could truly embrace an “all of the above” energy strategy and start with hopes for more rational talking and reporting on the “energy transition.” Just as heavy-duty engine and equipment makers are beginning work or introducing initial electric-powered technologies, they are working to improve diesel and other technologies to serve the varied needs of their customers. Until then, like it or not, diesel - not drones - will be delivering packages, farming fields and building bridges for years and years to come. And, more and more of those new generation diesels are near zero emissions and more efficient.
  2. Wish that the economy would continue to run in high gear so truckers, farmers, contractors, everyone can invest in more new technology engines and equipment to replace the older stuff. Saves fuel, $$$ and reduces emissions that benefits everyone.  
  3. Wish that important heavy-duty truck and engine manufacturers (industry) initiatives calling on EPA and CARB for further regulation and reduction of NOx emissions from heavy-duty engines could be welcomed with simple objectivity, hopefulness and enthusiasm. Plenty of time to tear apart details in the rulemaking process later. Until then, leave the cynicism and skepticism emanating from broader political views at home.
  4. Wish that those involved in working out the many details of a next round of NOx emissions standards for heavy-duty engines sees the essential value of a national program.
  5. Wish that more states would prioritize the mitigation of NOx emissions choices that target the oldest and largest source of NOx emissions for near term clean air benefits in VW settlement funding decisions. We thought clean air was important NOW...
  6. Wish we would see a resolution for fixing the diesel car situation in Europe. That means finding a balance with making things right with diesel car owners, addressing near term emissions concerns, and recognizing that new Euro 6 diesel technology is key for continued progress reducing CO2 emissions and hitting the Paris climate accord commitments. Yes older cars have higher emissions but they met the standards at the time; now we know more about real driving emissions and hindsight is always 2020. Government policies are confusing car owners.
  7. Wish journalists writing on environmental stories would not forget to be journalists first and less advocates for a particular point of view. Value and include multiple perspectives from industry, government and advocates equally. That earns respect for the important role of journalism.
  8. Wish we would see more appreciation and recognition for the role of low carbon biofuels both today and in the clean energy future. Some amazing things are happening in both public and private fleets, but they are often less glamorous. Switching from petroleum fuels to renewable biofuels can happen literally overnight and deliver benefits immediately, without the need for new infrastructure. 
  9. Wish people generally would be more respectful and less prankster-like when it comes to their personal preferences and behavior – i.e. diesel pickup truck owners should knock off the tampering and black-smoke coal rolling, only EVs should be parking in EV charging spaces. A couple of bad actors doing stupid things goes viral and suddenly a whole industry is in the bullseye!
  10. Wish for more civility everywhere and that 1-9 would come true!


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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy

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