Truck stop operators urge EPA to consider biodiesel for decarbonization

Stack of green barrels marked 'Biodiesel'

Several national organizations, including operators of truck stops and travel centers, are asking the federal government to reconsider its recent emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks.

NATSO, which represents America's travel centers and truck stops, SIGMA, the association of fuel marketers, and the National Association of Convenience Stores today urged the Environmental Protection Agency to revise its recently-proposed greenhouse gas stanadrads for heavy-duty trucks and adopt what the groups called "a market-oriented, technology-neutral approach to transportation decarbonization. "

Rather than adopting a single approach to emissions reductions, the organizations urged EPA to harness the immediate decarbonization benefits of existing lower carbon options, including renewable diesel and biodiesel.

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"The enormous practical and logistical challenges associated with electrifying trucks necessitate that the agency not rely entirely on a prodigious pace of heavy-duty electrification to decarbonize the trucking sector," the organizations wrote in public comments submitted to EPA. "Instead of depending on one technology to act as a silver bullet, the agency should adopt an agnostic approach to low-carbon technologies that can deliver substantial emissions savings in the heavy-duty sector, without compromising the market's ability to gravitate toward electrification as it becomes commercially viable and practical at scale."

With the right alignment of policy incentives, transportation energy providers can facilitate a faster, more widespread, cost-effective transition to petroleum alternatives, including electricity, in the coming years, said the organizations' letter.

Fuel retailers support the development of electric vehicle technologies and the associated refueling network but are concerned that the current state of heavy-duty electric vehicle charging technology renders the electrification timeline proposed under this rulemaking unachievable, according to a statement from the organizations.

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The organizations also said renewable diesel and biodiesel represent "the best opportunity for reducing carbon emissions from the commercial trucking sector for the foreseeable future." Establishing sensible tailpipe emissions in conjunction with strong incentives for renewable liquid fuels will encourage investments in currently scalable technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of fuels that are in use today, they said.