California seeks to ban sales of diesel big rigs in a bold bid to cut pollution
California is pushing for a complete ban on new diesel trucks, trucks with diesel engines and big rigs with diesel engines. This comes after the state had previously implemented a diesel cap on trucks that can reach 50,000 pounds. If the measure is granted by the legislature, it would set a new national standard for transportation technologies.
The proposed measure is designed for the public good and to address rising greenhouse gas emissions from trucks, which are fueling global climate change. California and other Western states are taking steps to reduce the levels of toxic air pollution that can contribute to a range of illnesses, including respiratory problems, heart problems and cancer.
The ban would be a boon to consumers, because they would end up saving money by not buying diesel trucks that would pollute more if they were still allowed to ply California’s highways.
“This proposal is very important for the health and well-being of Californians, who will have less driving,” said Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León, who authored the legislation.
In 2017, California spent $16 billion on vehicle purchases. But over the past decade, the state’s transportation spending has fallen by 11 percent, while vehicle sales have soared by an average of 23 percent. The change has been greatest on big rigs and pickup trucks, which tend to have higher levels of toxic emissions.
A study by the California Air Resources Board found that more than two million Californians live and work in counties where air quality is unhealthy for people. California also sees roughly 1,100 deaths, 8,500 emergency room visits and 500 hospitalizations a year due to adverse health effects from air pollution.
A decade ago, California imposed a cap on how many truck trucks were allowed to operate in the state, but its progress would come from a ban on the purchase of new diesel vehicles for sale on the state’s roadways. That, in turn, would require the state to spend more on a green-tech solution: reducing the emissions from those cars, trucks and buses.
“This is an important step, not only for our environment, but for our economy,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said. “It will help protect California’