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Calif. Is Using A Loophole To Spearhead A Nationwide Ban On Diesel Trucks

Calif. Is Using A Loophole To Spearhead A Nationwide Ban On Diesel Trucks

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California’s proposed rules to dramatically limit emissions from heavy-duty vehicles could effectively result in a nationwide ban on the sale of new diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicles, thanks to a “backdoor” in the Clean Air Act, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will approve California’s proposed rules, which would obligate all new heavy-duty vehicles — including shipping trucks and delivery vans — sold in the state after 2045 to be fully electric or hydrogen-powered, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing three individuals familiar with the agency’s plans. [emphasis, links added]

New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, and Vermont have all committed to following California’s lead on this issue, a move which experts told the DCNF was tantamount to a nationwide ban.

“It’s a way to backdoor allowunder the auspices of the Clean Air Act — for California [to set the] standards for the U.S.,” Dan Kish, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, said to the DCNF.

California’s rules would be significantly stricter than federal regulations under the Clean Air Act, and enforcing them requires the EPA to grant the state a special waiver, the Post reported.

The state will introduce stricter emissions standards to all heavy-duty vehicles starting with the model year 2024, three years earlier than the Biden administration’s most recent rules, which take effect in the model year 2027.

Together, California and the six states that are expected to follow in its lead represent some 20% of all heavy-duty vehicle sales in the U.S., the Post reported.

Heavy-duty electric trucks accounted for just 2.7% of all in the U.S. as of May 2022, according to analytics firm Wood Mackenzie.

“This is a unique provision in federal law that allows one single state, of course, it’s a big, powerful state, California, with its markets, to essentially dictate the regulation of interstate commerce for other states,” Steven Bradbury, a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former lawyer for both the Trump and George W. Bush administrations, told the DCNF in an interview.

“If just California alone is allowed to enforce these requirements, that would be enough to push the entire marketin that direction … because these companies cannot build different sets of trucks for different regions of the country. It just doesn’t make sense.”

The Biden administration has made electric vehicles a core component of its strategy for the U.S. to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, which represents a coalition of more than 30 truck and bus manufacturers, has argued that the new rules would force manufacturers to delay the purchase of new vehicles due to increased costs for electric heavy-duty vehicles, according to the Post.

In turn, this would incentivize truckers to leave less efficient cars on the road for longer, hindering the environmental benefits, the group argues.

Our industry hopes these reports aren’t true,” President and CEO Chris Spear of the American Trucking Association told the DCNF in a statement.

Spear stressed that the industry had reduced emissions by 98% since 1998 and that it had worked closely with the EPA to develop “aggressive, achievable” emissions reduction timelines for decades.

“If the reports are in fact accurate, let us remind you that this isn’t the United States of California,” said Spear.

“The state and federal regulators collaborating on this unrealistic patchwork of regulations have no grasp on the real costs of designing, building, manufacturing, and operating the trucks that deliver their groceries, clothes, and goods, but they will certainly feel the pain when these fanciful projections lead to catastrophic disruptions well beyond California’s borders.”

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom of California took to Twitter Monday to praise the state’s “bold action” to “lead the way” on this issue, following the Post’s report.

Read rest at Daily Caller

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