EPA Poised to Grant California More Rigid Emissions Rule Than Rest of Nation
ATA cautions the federal government that a ‘patchwork’ of different trucking emissions laws nationwide would upend supply chains as six other states intend to follow California’s lead.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to grant California waivers to enforce the strictest emissions rules in the nation, according to a newspaper report that cited three unnamed sources familiar with the Biden administration’s intentions. Because other states have committed to following California’s lead on air regulation, it could have supply chain ramifications across the U.S., according to American Trucking Associations’ leader.
“Our industry hopes these reports aren’t true,” Chris Spear, American Trucking Associations’ president and CEO, said in response to a Washington Post article published this week. “We have worked tirelessly with EPA on aggressive, achievable timelines for emissions reductions over decades.”
The potential California rules target diesel-powered trucks, which the state says cause about a third of the state’s air pollution. Spear, however, pointed out that trucks hauling freight across the U.S. are already much cleaner than they used to be. More than 70% of U.S. freight is moved by truck, according to ATA.
“A truck in 1988 emitted as much as 60 trucks today—a more than 98% reduction—and we’re committed to the path to zero,” Spear said.
Pushing the ‘unachievable’ on trucking
Spear stressed the trucking industry’s commitment to decarbonization during a speech at ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting in Orlando last month. But the ATA leader said that needs to be done “responsibly and realistically.”
“The next decade could, if we do not stand up as one and speak rationally, reshape our industry and, as a result, our economy,” Spear told TMC attendees on Feb. 27. “The timelines and targets that CARB and this EPA are putting forward is simply unachievable.”