California moving to become the paragon of environmental friendliness in the United States is not news. Over the years, we have seen California introduce legislation and incentives to promote green energy and reduce petroleum reliance. However, the latest move to phase out diesel emissions in commercial vehicles may hurt the state and national economy.

Reducing Diesel Emissions

A new bill was introduced, which would move the California Air Resources Board to mandate a 40 percent reduction in diesel fuel emissions by 2030, which will expand to 80 percent by 2050. This has raised a number of questions within the trucking industry, for whom California is a major pickup and drop-off point. The biggest concern is what this will do for interstate truckers who need to enter California to pick up or drop off shipments. The other major concern is how this will impact California’s economy, and what will need to be done to accommodate such legislation if it is passed. Right now, there are rumors of putting in larger docks at key points along the continental border for Diesel vehicles to pick up shipments to take elsewhere in the United States.

The Impact on the Trucking Industry

At first glance, calling for a major reduction in diesel truck emissions seems like a very harsh move for California to make, without considering the ramifications. If the trucking industry has to completely overhaul their vehicles out-of-pocket, just to do business and travel within California, that is a very expensive price to pay. Alternative fuel sources are not bad, but many vehicles that run on electric engines, solar, or even hydrogen are either too expensive or simply cannot perform the same way as a diesel truck does. Heavy equipment truckers, for example, cannot get the power necessary to move big machines on anything other than a diesel engine without installing something that is extremely cost-prohibitive.

The bill, SB44, was introduced late last year, but no official decisions have been made as of yet. Express Freight Finance will be keeping track of this legislation as it develops.