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November 20, 2018   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Why This Holiday Season You’ll Be Getting More with Less

As you sit down for the holiday feast, or go about your holiday shopping, know that this year, you can do more shopping, more eating (!) and more traveling, and do so knowing that it will have a lesser impact on the environment, in the form of generating fewer emissions.


This week we’ll soon take comfort in traditions including celebrating Thanksgiving with a feast, time with friends and family that have traveled from afar, and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, aka “Black Friday.”

Whether you’re eating, traveling or shopping, you are the beneficiary of being able to do more with less. How so? The common thread that unites these traditions is they are all brought to you in some form or fashion by a diesel engine. More than 97 percent of the largest commercial trucks are powered by diesel engines. Whether in a farm tractor, a tractor trailer, a train or an intercity motor coach, diesel is the technology that dominates each of these sectors.

Diesel trucks, trains, boats and barges move 90 percent of the nation’s goods – more than 18 million tons of freight each day. Our nation’s economy would come to a standstill without diesel engines that haul raw materials that underpin our economy and manufacturing as well as the consumer goods - food, clothing, medicine that we all depend on.  Not only is diesel industry vital to our economy and quality of life but the entire diesel sector continues to improve the environmental performance of its products.

One thing you’ll be getting less of this holiday season is emissions:  that’s because 36 percent of all commercial diesel trucks on U.S. roads this year– from the ubiquitous white box delivery trucks on your neighborhood streets right on up to those big 18 wheelers – are now powered by the newest generation diesel engines that are near-zero emissions (that’s a six percent increase over last year!) Whether you brave the crowds at retail stores on Black Friday or prefer to do your shopping online on Cyber Monday, diesel power is playing a major rule ensuring that gifts get to the stores and to your homes, on time and in any kind of weather, and doing it with fewer emissions.

Diesel delivers more than just gifts…it delivers the feast – the turkey (and the sides too!). Over 46 million turkeys will be bought for Thanksgiving dinner this year. By the time most food gets to the dinner table, it has been transported by several different modes over a period of hours, days or weeks. Most agricultural products begin and end the journey on a truck.

Diesel engines power the majority of agricultural equipment in the U.S. necessary to plant, grow and harvest crops and transport them to markets or for processing and then delivered ultimately to the consumer’s dinner table. In the agricultural sector, there is no cost-effective substitute for diesel engines in tractors and other farm equipment with the same combination of energy efficiency, power and performance, durability and reliability.

So, as you sit down for the holiday feast, or go about your holiday shopping, know that this year, you can do more shopping, more eating (!) and more traveling, and do so knowing that it will have a lesser impact on the environment, in the form of generating fewer emissions.  And that’s something we can all be thankful for.



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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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