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President Barack Obama said he will use executive actions to move infrastructure projects forward during his most recent State of the Union address.

“The question for everyone in this chamber, running through every decision we make this year, is whether we are going to help or hinder this progress,” Obama said

One way to help the nation’s progress is by simply slashing the red tape that exists for various infrastructure projects.

Obama proposed to tie infrastructure investment to tax reform in an attempt to “create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes – because in today’s global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure.”

To do so, the President called on Congress for more support for these initiatives while he did what he could to slash the red tape.

“We’ll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible,” Obama said.

The State of the Union update was met with a positive reaction from Department of Treasury secretary Anthony Foxx, who said in a statement that he would help bring Obama’s goal of an improved infrastructure to completion.

“I will be working throughout the year from the federal to the local level to build more infrastructure while growing jobs now and making more jobs possible with first-rate transportation networks,” Foxx said. “We will also build ladders of opportunity, connecting every American to the global economy. I was especially glad to hear the president call on Congress to finish a much-needed transportation bill this summer, and the proposal to fund that bill through corporate tax reform can and should be done on a bipartisan basis.”

Further Fuel Efficiency Targets for Heavy-Duty Trucks

During the State of the Union address, Obama also reiterated his Administration’s previously declared proposal for a new round of fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks.

“When we rescued our automakers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars. In the coming months, I'll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump,” Obama said.

Fuel efficiency standards are already in the process of being phased in this year under joint agreement between the United States Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. Those regulations, set to go into effect in stages until 2018, levy different fuel efficiency marks based on the size and weight of the vehicle involved:

  • Most tractor-trailers will be required to achieve up to a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and GHG emissions by model year 2018
     
  • Heavy-duty trucks and vans will be required to achieve up to about a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and GHG emissions by model year 2018
     
  • Vocational vehicles will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 percent by model year 2018

Last year, the Obama Administration made known a new round of standards for 2017 and beyond, although specifics have not been released as of yet.

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Dennis P. Jaconi works for Teletrac's vibrant Marketing team and contributes his insight into the ever changing world of m2m technology to our blog. He loves to speak directly with customers to learn how fleets are leveraging GPS software for improved efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions. To read these stories visit his Teletrac customer story archive

 


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