The trucking industry is now affected by the left’s push in California to mandate zero-emission vehicles.
This proposed regulation is similar to the one mandated for cars in California a couple of months ago. By 2040, the California Air Resource Board wants to stop selling new diesel vehicles, and by 2042, it expects the larger trucking firms to run entirely on electricity. This comes less than a month after the state announced the mandate for all new automobiles, trucks, and SUVs to operate on electricity or hydrogen by 2035.
In an information sheet from the White House, the Biden administration has set a target of exclusively acquiring 100% zero-emission light-duty cars by 2027 and will apply the same criteria to all vehicles in the federal government fleet by 2035. The “ambitious aim” that the White House has established is that by 2030, 50% of new cars sold in the US will be electric automobiles.
Now, according to a CARB report released on August 30, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is exploring new laws to prohibit the sale of all diesel semi-trucks by 2040, in order to combat climate change and address the history of discriminatory behaviors.
In the report, the idea would mandate that all medium and heavy-duty trucks entering ports and rail yards be entirely electrified by 2035. Due to discriminatory zoning laws, CARB contends that such freight vehicles should be outlawed since the diesel emissions they produce disproportionately harm low-income and minority neighborhoods.
“Decades of racist and classist practices, including red-lining and siting decisions, have concentrated heavy-duty vehicle and freight activities in these communities, with concomitant disproportionate pollution burdens,” the regulators stated. “CARB has legal and moral obligations to lessen these burdens.”
However, some of the people who work in the trucking industry say that there’s still a lot of uncertainty about how this is going to work.
Dan Palmer, who owns Dan Palmer Trucking Inc., has previously experimented with electric cars. He said this will not be good for the local trucking industry.
“This is another swing at killing the little guy because the only ones who is going to be able to do it is these big companies,” Palmer said. “There’s always been a concerted effort by the state to get rid of the independent truckers.”
A new labor regulation that classed the 70,000 independent owner-operators in California as employees of the shipping corporations they collaborate with, as opposed to independent contractors, sparked protests from the state’s truckers in July. The plan forces truckers to choose between taking a job as an employee subject to corporate rules or paying up to $20,000 out of pocket for licenses and insurance to operate independently and handle their own logistics.
Palmer claimed that a single vehicle can cost as much as $250,000. Therefore, this idea will significantly harm neighborhood businesses that cannot afford brand-new trucks.
“The independent trucker will be gone, which they almost are now,” Palmer said.
The infrastructure for all the new electric vehicles that would need to be built first and be sufficient for a full switch is another concern expressed by palmer and the California Trucking Association.
“All this infrastructure has to be rebuilt first and it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s also not going to happen from a wind farm. So the energy to recharge these trucks is fossil fuel,” he said.