ACTION ALERT: Urge the CA Air Resources Board to Strengthen the Clean Trucks Rule!

November 20, 2019

California - the world’s 5th largest economy, recently accomplished what many believed - even five years prior - to be impossible. As reported by PV Magazine in April, just for a moment, the state was running on 93% clean electricity.[i]

 

And, in working toward this achievement, millions of hours of union construction work were created here in California in a historic build-out of new renewable energy generation projects.

 

This milestone was achieved thanks to vision, bold leadership and smart policy. In 2011, California passed Senate Bill 2 (1X) requiring 33 percent of electricity to come from renewable resources by 2020, at the time considered to be the most ambitious of its kind in the nation.  In 2015, this target was accelerated to 50 percent and in 2018, SB 100 was signed by the Governor requiring 100 percent renewable and zero-carbon electricity by 2045.

 

These are incredible milestones and important policies, but we still have a long way to go in cutting the emissions needed to combat the climate crisis. For example, the transportation sector still represents over 40 percent of climate pollution in the state. Tackling transportation pollution is vital to achieving our climate goals and creating cleaner, healthier air, especially in environmental justice communities who have long borne the brunt of deadly diesel pollution and particulate matter.

 

The good news is that this is California, and we have the will and the means to also achieve incredible emissions reductions from transportation. The bad news is that the California Air Resources Board is wasting a huge opportunity in developing a critical new policy that has the potential to slash emissions from some of our most offending vehicles – medium and heavy-duty trucks.

 

Right now, CARB is considering an Advanced Clean Trucks standard that would ask major truck manufacturers to produce more zero-emissions trucks. The problem is that – as proposed - it is too weak to make a real difference in meeting our climate goals and protecting public health.

 

We are just one of many groups that are asking CARB to go further with the rule – or risk failure. Our demands to improve the standard are simple, reasonable and achievable:

  1. Ensure by 2030 no less than 15 percent of medium and heavy-duty trucks on the road are zero-emission;
  2. Include Class 2b pickup trucks in the mandates beginning in 2024;
  3. Outline longer-term objectives for achieving 100 percent zero-emission trucks in various categories, and explain how this phase of the rule is consistent with those objectives and attaining federal and state air quality and greenhouse gas objectives; and
  4. Commit to adopt corresponding fleet purchase requirements in 2021.

 

Just like California’s renewable energy leadership, aggressive targets for zero-emission trucks will accelerate clean transportation investments and create new opportunities for high-quality jobs and skilled training. For example, statewide initiatives like the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) are already preparing California electricians for the shift to clean transportation technologies. As electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and associated infrastructure is deployed, it is essential to ensure it is safely and correctly installed and maintained by properly trained electrical personnel. EVITP teaches industry best practices in electric vehicle infrastructure installation, commissioning and maintenance and is required for investor-owned utility transportation electrification programs in California.

 

We are at a critical moment in history. With each passing day we are seeing the devastating effects of climate change on working families. Additionally, as the American Lung Association noted in their recent “State of the Air” report, California has some of the most polluted air in the nation. If we are to avert the worst impacts of a climate disaster and improve air quality, we need strong and aggressive action to reduce pollution from these vehicles. With a stronger Advanced Clean Trucks rule that includes the provisions outlined above, CARB can continue California’s trailblazing leadership on climate change while delivering a win-win-win for public health, workers and our economy.

 

Please join us in urging CARB to strengthen the Advanced Clean Trucks rule with our four proposed provisions by submitting a comment to the Air Resources Board HERE. The deadline for submitting comments is Dec. 9, 2019.

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