Wisconsin plans to create California-style diesel, global warming rules

| 1/8/2009

Professional drivers have long viewed California as one of the toughest states to drive truck in, but one Midwestern state may be fast on its heels.

The Wisconsin Global Warming Task Force recently approved a host of recommendations for the state to use to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The list includes several proposals that could drastically affect trucking.

In 2007, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle created the Global Warming Task Force to look at the effects of global warming and at possible solutions to problems caused by emissions.

The task force’s recently finalized and approved “Wisconsin Strategy for Reducing Global Warming” has been sent to the governor for his consideration.

To aggressively cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Global Warming Task Force agreed to several recommendations, including:

  • Limiting diesel truck idling to a California-like five minutes, unless temperatures rise below 10 or above 90 degrees;
  • Enforcing the state’s 65 mph speed limit, and encouraging speed limiters and other “voluntary policies to reduce fleet vehicle speed maximums, such as those recently implemented by Schneider Trucking.”
  • A host of incentives and encouragement of electric vehicles and hybrid plug-in vehicles;
  • Encouraging reforestation, and development that offsets carbon output of new construction; and
  • Endorsing either a federal carbon tax, or a carbon credit cap and trade program.

“This report expresses a strong preference in favor of a broad-based, multi-sector, federal cap and trade program that is fair to Wisconsin as a state highly dependent on fossil fuels today, with an energy-intensive industrial base,” the report reads. “Wisconsin should actively participate in the design of any federal program, seeking to maintain the environmental integrity of the program, while protecting the state’s economy and mitigating costs for its consumers.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer