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DERA supporters know that urging lawmakers to back the program is an annual rite.
DERA was passed in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act. These days, many industry leaders and members of Congress are enamored with electric truck technology. But for the near future, Schaeffer believes diesel will remain “the fuel of choice for commercial vehicles.”
Industry consultant Darry Stuart agrees. “Diesel is not going to go away,” said Stuart, president of DWS Fleet Management. “And I don’t see anytime soon the government is going to slow down on funding (for DERA).”
Since DERA took effect, $629 million has been allocated to clean-diesel efforts. According to Schaeffer, this has prevented 472,000 tons of NOx from reaching the skies, while saving 454 million gallons of diesel fuel.
More improvements can be made if DERA is well-funded, he said.
“Diesel is not a technology that is standing still,” he said. “Now is the time to get out the magic tricks again, and improve fuel efficiency.”
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