California seeks to ban sales of diesel big rigs in a bold bid to cut pollution.
California Governor Jerry Brown is on a quest to ban the sales of massive diesel trucks over the state’s highways. The move is part of the Golden State’s strategy to curb the pollution produced by the huge diesel vehicles.
Brown first proposed the idea in 2013 when he was a San Francisco state senator. His plan included the requirement that large diesel trucks emit no more than 30 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions. It is unclear if the ban will reduce greenhouse gas emissions much. The vehicles are so large that they could still be in use by California’s growing fleet of cars.
In 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill No. 827, which prohibits the sale of trucks larger than 16,000 pounds and vans larger than 13,500 pounds. That ban could still be lifted by the end of 2020.
With today’s announcement, California joins Oregon and Washington State in banning sales of huge diesel vehicles. Those two states have long-standing bans, and in addition, Washington state has since January 2016 banned the sale of heavy trucks larger than 14,200 pounds. Oregon, meanwhile, has a new truck ban that would prohibit purchases of trucks with more than 34,000 pounds.
The new proposals, Brown says, would be a “sensible step forward” to reduce emissions.
But critics say the truck ban is another example of the state’s heavy-truck addiction. They argue that big rigs contribute to black carbon, smog, and traffic fatalities. They point to California’s worst-hit community, Los Angeles, as one example.
Last year, a report from the University of California, Berkeley found that cars and trucks caused more than half the pollution in the county. The report found that the region’s biggest polluter is an idling 18-wheeler. They also contributed more than half a million dollars in damage to Los Angeles’ streets.
The truck ban is just one element of a state strategy to reduce emissions that have been linked to climate change, and to reduce the health and property damage they cause.
The California Air Resources Board, which is administering the state�