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Clean diesel helps Maryland to meet greenhouse gas regulations

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Legislation signed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday will seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 relative to emissions generated in 2006.

“As Governor Hogan signs legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from Maryland, clean diesel stands ready to deliver significant fuel savings and climate benefits to the state,” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

“Diesel engines and the vehicles and equipment they power have been recognised for over a century for their efficiency,” said Schaeffer. “Thanks to enormous advances in clean diesel technology, engines that meet recent emissions standards result in near-zero emissions and provide further fuel economy benefits. These engines are ready to deliver significant fuel savings and greenhouse gas reduction benefits to Maryland and move the state closer to its emission reduction target.

“Maryland is a leader in the adoption of clean diesel technology beating the national average for the share of these clean diesel commercial vehicles in operation. About one third of the 128 000 diesel commercial vehicles in operation in Maryland as of 2015 were powered by the latest generation of new clean diesel technology available since 2010.

“Nationwide, these clean diesel vehicles have saved 21 million bbls of crude oil thanks to advanced fuel economy improvements and eliminated 9 million t of carbon emissions,” said Schaeffer.

Transportation related emissions rank as the second leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland behind the electricity generating sector. Diesel commercial vehicles rank as the second leading source of transportation related greenhouse gas emissions behind gasoline powered passenger cars and light trucks.

Schaeffer said EPA regulations have resulted in new clean diesel technology and fuels that have significantly lowered particulate matter and NOX emissions by more than 95% compared to older diesel vehicles.

New diesel engines save fuel and reduce emissions

“Today, 95% of large commercial vehicles come with a diesel engine and these vehicles are already saving fuel and reducing emissions and will continue to generate significant fuel savings and emission reductions helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland,” said Schaeffer.

Fuel economy rules established jointly by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Depart of Transportation for commercial vehicles manufactured beginning in 2014 are expected to save 530 million bbls of crude oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million t by 2018.

“Diesel will deliver the majority of these significant benefits as the powertrain is found under the hood of 95% of large commercial vehicles today and will continue to power these vehicles in the near future,” said Schaeffer.

Proposed rules extending fuel economy requirements beyond 2018 are estimated to save an additional 1.8 billion bbls of crude oil and 1 billion t of greenhouse gas emissions by 2027.

Maryland: clean diesel passenger vehicles

“The benefits of clean diesel in contributing to greenhouse gas reduction in Maryland extend beyond commercial vehicles,” said Schaeffer. “Maryland is a leading state for the adoption of clean diesel passenger cars with over 100 000 of these vehicles on Maryland roads today and the growing share of these vehicles in the state’s fleet can play a great role in saving even more fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, a clean diesel passenger vehicle can experience a 20 - 40% improvement in fuel economy relative to a comparable gasoline vehicle along with a 10 - 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“One of the great benefits of the diesel powertrain is its capability to demonstrate continuous improvement to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Schaeffer. “Already, large municipalities including the cities of San Francisco and Oakland and private fleets like UPS have committed to use greater quantities of bio-based diesel fuels that have shown enormous potential to reduce carbon emissions.”

Biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels are recognised as advanced biofuels by the US Environmental Protection Agency capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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