California Approves Rule Banning Diesel Trucks by 2036

California Approves Rule Banning Diesel Trucks by 2036
Emissions-producing cars and trucks pass a wind farm along the California freeway. Americans are deeply polarized in their beliefs about climate change, and researchers want to know why. (David McNew/Getty Images)
Elizabeth Dowell

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved new regulations and voted to ban the sale of diesel big rig trucks by 2036 and require all trucks to be zero-emissions by 2042, the company announced Friday.

The Advanced Clean Fleets rule is added to a list of California’s zero-emissions regulations in an effort to become more environmentally friendly and decrease the state’s high pollution.

California is the first state to require new commercial trucks, including garbage trucks, delivery trucks, and other medium and heavy-duty vehicles, to be electric.

Semi-trucks line up to retrieve shipping containers from a China-based ship in Long Beach, Calif., on April 4, 2018. (Bob Riha Jr./Reuters)
Semi-trucks line up to retrieve shipping containers from a China-based ship in Long Beach, Calif., on April 4, 2018. (Bob Riha Jr./Reuters)
Supporters of this new rule say that reducing nitrogen oxide and diesel pollution will help lower the health risk of Californians who are breathing the polluted air and contribute to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s California Climate Commitment (pdf).
“Last year, our state approved one of the world’s first regulations requiring all new car sales to be zero emissions. Now, with these actions requiring all new heavy-duty truck sales to be zero emission and tackling train pollution in our state, we’re one step closer to achieving healthier neighborhoods and cleaner air for all Californians,” Newsom said in a statement.

The rule cannot be implemented without approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Big rigs and heavy-duty trucks represent nearly one-third of the state’s nitrogen oxide and more than one-quarter of its fine particle pollution from diesel fuel, according to the California Air Resources Board.

“There is no acceptable level of exposure to deadly diesel pollution—it has got to go for the sake of our health and our lungs. Environmental justice communities in California are just trying to breathe clean, healthy air, and the shift to zero emissions trucks is a critical step to getting there,” Andrea Vidaurre, senior policy analyst for the People’s Collective for Environmental Justice, said in a statement.

Along with trucks, trains will be required to operate in zero-emissions configurations while operating in California, with industrial and passenger locomotives built in 2030 and freights by 2035, CARB announced Thursday.
“Locomotives are a key part of California’s transportation network, and it’s time that they are part of the solution to tackle pollution and clean our air,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in a statement. “With the new regulation, we are moving toward a future where all transportation operations in the state will be zero emissions.”

Truckers Say Plan ‘Unrealistic’

The American Trucking Association called the rule “unrealistic” and is concerned about the financial impact that this new rule will have on maintaining the maintenance and sustainability of the trucks during this transition.

“California is setting unrealistic targets and unachievable timelines that will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for the goods and services delivered to the state and fewer options for consumers. As it becomes clear that California’s rhetoric is not being matched by technology, we hope the Board will reverse course and allow trucking companies the freedom to choose the clean technologies that work best for their operations," the group said in a statement.
Elizabeth is a SoCal based reporter covering issues in Los Angeles and throughout the state for The Epoch Times. She is passionate about creating truthful and accurate stories for readers to connect with. When she’s not reporting, she enjoys writing poetry, playing basketball, embarking on new adventures and spending quality time with her family and friends.
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