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PCA News

September 15, 2014

Fuel Reduction Policies Should Include Roads, Impact of Pavement

Portland Cement Association report calls for comprehensive federal fuel efficiency policy

SKOKIE, Ill.— A report from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) calls for roads and pavement structures to be included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), White House mandated, fuel standards for heavy-duty trucks in an effort to cut greenhouse gases.

PCA stresses that roads and pavement structures should to be included in a comprehensive policy to reduce fuel consumption. The report comes ahead of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), White House mandated, fuel standards for heavy-duty trucks in an effort to cut greenhouse gases that are expected later this year. The report highlights the importance of pavement selection in a fuel efficiency strategy. To optimize success, policymakers should consider a dual mandate to their fuel reduction objectives, with one centered on vehicle efficiency and a second on pavement selection.

Pavement selection’s impact on fuel reduction is significant.  PCA estimates that a fuel reduction policy focused on paving 15 percent of all the roads schedule for repaving with a rigid surface like concrete would save nearly 7 billion gallons of fuel by 2035.

“Massachusetts Institute of Technology research suggests that fuel economy gains can be achieved by converting flexible payments to more rigid pavements,” said Edward Sullivan, chief economist and group vice president at PCA. “This was confirmed in real-world conditions by Florida International University that concluded tractor-trailers use 4.5 percent less fuel on rigid surfaces.”

According to Sullivan, addressing road surfaces at the same time as emission standards, will also speed up the impact of emission standards. According to the White House, heavy-duty trucks account for just four percent of highway vehicles, but are responsible for 20 percent of fuel consumption from the transportation sector. Current fuel-economy standards are aimed at reducing truck fuel use by as much as 20 percent.

“Fuel economy policies only target new vehicles so a great impact is only seen after the old fleet is retired.  Roads, however, are continually being repaved so that fuel and emission standards could be more immediate.”

A copy of the fuel report can be found at:

About PCA

Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Skokie, Illinois, the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at

For media inquires please contact Holly Arthur at or 202-719-1979.




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