New England state enacts California-style new-truck emissions standards

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, July 27, 2022:

Connecticut enacts new emissions law targeting trucks

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont last week announced the enactment of Public Act 22-25, a new law that includes a number of actions aimed to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector.

Among the measures the law contains is one authorizing the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to adopt more stringent emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. It also makes various statutory changes under the Connecticut Clean Air Act, expands existing programs, and establishes several new programs concerning electric vehicle use and improving air quality.

The bill’s provisions include, among other things:

  • Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Standards -- Authorizes the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations implementing California’s medium- and heavy-duty motor vehicle standards, targeted toward new production vehicles, not in-use vehicles. Connecticut says this will ensure that manufacturers are producing cleaner vehicles and offering them for sale in Connecticut, giving prospective consumers more options while reducing a major source of in-state air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Vouchers -- Allows DEEP to establish a voucher program to support the use of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Traffic Signal Grant Program -- Requires the Connecticut Department of Transportation to establish a matching grant program to help municipalities modernize existing traffic signal equipment.

“This is a transformational time in transportation, and the CTDOT is ready to meet the moment by investing in cleaner, greener transportation, building out electric vehicle infrastructure, and advancing safety and mobility projects around the state,” said CTDOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti.

[Related: Cutting through the heavy-duty e-trucks hype]

Diesel prices fall to three-month low

Diesel fuel prices since late June have fallen more than 50 cents, bringing the U.S.’ average for a gallon of on-highway diesel to its lowest point since late April.

Diesel’s national average during the week ending July 25 saw a 16.4-cent drop to $5.27 per gallon, the lowest since the week ending April 25, when prices averaged $5.16 per gallon.

The national average for diesel has now fallen for five consecutive weeks, dropping 54.2 cents during that time. Despite the drop, diesel is still $1.93-per-gallon higher than the same week a year ago.

Prices fell across all regions during the most recent week, with the most significant drop being seen in the Lower Atlantic region, which saw an 18.6-cent decline.

California remains home to the most expensive diesel at $6.39 per gallon, followed by the Central Atlantic region at $5.62 per gallon.

The cheapest fuel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $4.91 per gallon, followed by the Lower Atlantic region at $5.15 per gallon.

Prices in other regions, according to EIA, are:

  • New England -- $5.54
  • Midwest -- $5.24
  • Rocky Mountain -- $5.39
  • West Coast less California -- $5.62

ProMiles’ numbers during the same week saw fuel prices fall by 11 cents, bringing its national average to $5.35 per gallon.

According to ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $6.52 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $5.01 per gallon. 

$30k up for grabs in Pilot Road Warrior contest

Pilot Flying J this week announced the return of its annual Road Warrior contest with the largest prize total in history.

This year’s $30,000 Road Warrior contest will recognize and reward three truck drivers who go the extra mile in their jobs and communities.

From Aug. 1 through Aug. 15, Pilot will be accepting nominations for the chance to be named the 2022 Road Warrior.

Submissions should highlight the driver’s contributions to the trucking industry, safe driving history, community involvement, miles driven, and other meaningful stories about the nominee. Three winners will be selected, with cash prizes including $15,000 for the grand prize winner, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for third.

“We are honored to recognize the selflessness, dedication and service of professional truck drivers who are working hard to deliver the goods that we all rely on,” said David Hughes, Senior Vice President of Sales for Pilot Flying J. “Our annual Road Warrior contest is an opportunity to highlight those individuals who are role models in the trucking industry and to say thank you to all the drivers out there for letting us be part of your journey to keep the country moving.”

To enter, visit the Road Warrior contest page beginning Aug. 1 and submit a nomination through Aug. 15 for a professional driver deserving of this recognition. The winners will be announced at the end of September as part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Month.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Eric Curlett, a Marine Veteran and glass hauler for Maverick Transportation. He was nominated by a fellow driver who described him as “one of the best humans” he has ever met. Curlett was chosen for his dedication to the profession, outstanding driver record, and involvement in his community.