Framed by shipping containers and American flags, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at the Los Angeles Harbor Grain Terminal (L.A. Grain) on Sept. 29 about California's zero-emissions requirement for drayage trucks, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Under that rule, new trucks operating at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will have to be zero-emissions vehicles—in particular, battery electric trucks and hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
"If you look at the big rigs, this is not something that is designed to be an electric vehicle," Mr. DeSantis said. The Florida governor was standing in front of a line of L.A. Grain workers in bright safety vests and, on the far right, was L.A. Grain's president and CEO, Dwight Robinson.
Mr. Robinson, formerly mayor of Lake Forest, told The Epoch Times his company's current fleet is "a mixture of liquid natural gas, compressed natural gas, and diesel."
"Those trucks barely exist today, and they're in very small numbers, and the infrastructure is essentially non-existent," Mr. Robinson said in a short speech before Mr. DeSantis delivered his remarks.
The Florida governor's Long Beach visit followed the second debate at Simi Valley's Reagan Presidential Library and came hours ahead of an appearance at the California GOP's convention in Anaheim.
Mr. DeSantis described California as "basically the petri dish for leftism in this country."
The Golden State's leverage means automakers in the U.S. market may have to follow its standards.
In recent testimony before Congress, Joseph Goffman of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was asked by Rep. John Joyce (R-Penn.) if a California ban that extended to its partner states "would be a de facto national policy."
Mr. Goffman replied that he was "not sure," adding: "My understanding is historically auto manufacturers have striven to avoid making more than just one national fleet."
Contrasts California with FloridaIn Long Beach on Sept. 29, Mr. DeSantis said he had seen many vehicles in his state with California license plates.
"A lot of those folks had been driven, some of it by the COVID insanity that was going on in California, some of it by the education and locking kids out of schools, some of it was the crime and how criminals are not held accountable," he said.
He also spoke about the Biden administration's immigration policy, saying "people here in Southern California" have been significantly affected by the flow of illegal immigrants across the border.
"We're proud of our ports," he said.
"People here are really getting socked with that," Mr. DeSantis said.
Although the second presidential debate took place in California, the Democrat-run state barely came up in the moderators' questions, though Fox host Stuart Varney noted that the state's gas prices are "nearing $6 a gallon."
Mr. Robinson, the businessman and politician who hosted the event, told The Epoch Times he supports Mr. DeSantis over his Republican rivals because "he's walked the walk in elected office."
"He's an executive of a big state, and he's doing a fantastic job," Mr. Robinson added.