At a certain stage of life, there was almost nothing my little boys loved more than a big, loud, roaring motorized vehicle. Whether it was a tractor-trailer, school bus, garbage truck, city bus, or ambulance, there one of them would be, little hand sweating in excitement, little eyes shining, little mouth moving. Their love of trucks ran deep, and they cultivated it through dozens of books, read more times than I want to remember.
We love trucks. We depend on them. But we have to clean them up.
Big trucks account for just 7% of vehicles traveling U.S. roads, but they consume more than 25% of all fuel used by vehicles, averaging fuel use of just 6 mpg. Each year, America’s trucks emit as much heat-trapping carbon pollution as 130 coal plants.
EPA has proposed new greenhouse gas standards for medium and heavy duty trucks, covering the trucks that move 70% of all US freight, as well as school buses, garbage trucks, city buses, and more. The proposed standards would reduce climate pollution by one billion metric tons, reduce fuel consumption by 1.8 billion barrels of oil, and provide benefits to society totaling $230 billion. They would reduce toxic air emissions and save lives.
But they could, and should, be stronger. The technology is feasible and affordable. The health benefits are compelling. The climate benefits are real.
EPA should set a standard that reduces dangerous truck emissions farther and faster than the proposed rules – so moms and dads can proudly cultivate our little ones’ love of the archetypal big rig.
Here are 7 read-aloud children’s books about the vehicles that can, and should, reduce their dangerous climate pollution under EPA’s proposed rules for medium and heavy duty trucks:
- I Stink by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan
- Truck by Donald Crews
- Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
- Roadwork by Sally Sutton
- 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street by Mark Lee and Kurt Cyrus
- Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry