Tag Archive for: environmental regulation

Red States Slap California, Biden Admin With Lawsuits To Halt Electric Truck Push

Large coalitions of red states are suing regulators in Washington, D.C., and California over rules designed to effectively require increases in electric vehicle (EV) adoption.

Nebraska is leading a 24-state coalition in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently-finalized emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and a 17-state coalition suing the state of California in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California over its Advanced Clean Fleet rules. Both regulations would increase the number of heavy-duty EVs on the road, a development that could cause serious disruptions and cost increases across the U.S. economy, as supply chain and trucking sector experts have previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“California and an unaccountable EPA are trying to transform our national trucking industry and supply chain infrastructure. This effort—coming at a time of heightened inflation and with an already-strained electrical grid—will devastate the trucking and logistics industry, raise prices for customers, and impact untold number of jobs across Nebraska and the country,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers said in a statement. “Neither California nor the EPA has the constitutional power to dictate these nationwide rules to Americans. I am proud to lead our efforts to stop these unconstitutional attempts to remake our economy and am grateful to our sister states for joining our coalitions.”

Heavy Duty Complaint by Nick Pope on Scribd

ACF Complaint by Nick Pope on Scribd

While specifics vary depending on the type of heavy-duty vehicle, EPA’s emissions standards will effectively mandate that EVs make up 60% of new urban delivery trucks and 25% of long-haul tractors sold by 2032, according to The Wall Street Journal. The agency has also pushed aggressive emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles that will similarly force an increase in EVs’ share of new car sales over the next decade.

California’s Advanced Clean Fleet rules, meanwhile, will require that 100% of trucks sold in the state will be zero-emissions models starting in 2036, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). While not federal, the California rules are of importance to other states because there are numerous other states who follow California’s emissions standards, which can be tighter than those required by the EPA and other federal agencies.

Critics fear that this dynamic will effectively enable California to set national policies and nudge manufacturers in the direction of EVs at a greater rate and scale than the Biden administration is pursuing.

Trucking industry and supply chain experts have previously told the DCNF that both regulations threaten to cause serious problems for the country’s supply chains and wider economy given that the technology for electric and zero-emissions trucks is simply not yet ready to be mandated at scale, among other issues.

Neither CARB nor the EPA responded immediately to requests for comment.





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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

‘Hammered From All Sides’: Minority Truckers Say California’s Green Regs Are Destroying Their American Dream

Minority truckers are struggling to stay afloat as the state of California levies stringent green regulations on their businesses, according to some of those affected who spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB), California’s environmental regulatory agency, will ban the sale of new diesel heavy-duty trucks starting in 2036, a policy partially motivated by a desire to improve health outcomes for minority populations. That requirement is the latest in a string of similar requirements imposed in recent years, all of which have made it excessively difficult for minorities to operate their own trucking enterprises and pursue the American dream, some of those small business owners told the DCNF.

“Many California neighborhoods, especially Black and Brown, low-income and vulnerable communities, live, work, play and attend schools adjacent to the ports, railyards, distribution centers and freight corridors and experience the heaviest truck traffic,” CARB said in 2020 after proposing its most recent “clean truck” rule. That particular rule for trucks was motivated in part to address the “disproportionate risks and health and pollution burdens affecting these communities,” the agency said at the time.

While bureaucrats writing the rules pitch them as a way to reduce respiratory and health ailments in minority communities that live in and around frequently-trafficked trucking routes, some minority truckers told the DCNF that the rules are squeezing them financially in ways that render any purported health benefits moot.

“A lot of our members are minority-owned small businesses,” Joe Rajkovacz, the director of governmental affairs and communications for the Western States Trucking Association, told the DCNF. “Here in California, there is a decided indifference to small business trucking by both politicians and bureaucrats.”

Randy Thomas, a black man, grew up in South Central Los Angeles as the son of a World War II veteran and a lifelong resident of California. He ran his trucking firm for many decades, growing his business from a one-man operation to a company that employed 15 drivers and provided enough income to send all of his children to college, making them the first in his family to get the chance to do so.

By 2009, the regulatory environment left him no choice to shut down his business, as it did not make financial sense for him to purchase new and expensive trucks to meet new mandates.

“I did my first trip when I was 20. Everything was going great from 1971 up until around the time that (former President Barack) Obama got into office,” Thomas told the DCNF. “By 2008, we come up with this clean truck program here. We were having all these meetings. I’m looking at the division between the environmentalists, telling us about CO2 and gases …  I’m looking at the charts of what our engines that we had at that time, which were made mainly mechanical diesel, and they had no idea what engine was gonna be the engine they were writing into prospective goals.”

“Guys are going out of business like you wouldn’t believe,” Thomas told the DCNF about other Californian truckers he knows.

After closing his business, Jackson moved on to a different company, and he still drives truck routes delivering medical supplies and other time-sensitive loads. But, as he explained to the DCNF, “it wasn’t my company anymore.”

Bill Aboudi, a Palestinian-American who still owns his own small trucking company operating out of the Port of Oakland, touched on some of the same themes in an interview with the DCNF.

Aboudi was born in 1966, and his father went missing in action during the Six Day War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states in 1967. Aboudi immigrated to the U.S. when he was 14 years old, and started helping his brother out with his trucking business in 1989 after he got out of the California National Guard and never left the industry.

“I live in the middle of getting hammered from all sides. One of the first things that CARB always makes it out to be, is if you’re in the trucking business, you’re a polluter. I always try and explain to them, I’ve got an organic garden, I have about three fruit trees in my backyard. I used to keep bees … I’ve got 12 chickens. I love the environment, and I want to get the best technology for my operation,” Aboudi told the DCNF. “It seems like the regulators have no clue. They want to be able to turn on a switch and have everybody switch directionally right away … They end up reducing our company size and stunting our growth.”

Assembly Bill 5, which reclassified California’s 70,000 independent owner-operators as employees of shipping companies rather than independent contractors, was another policy that hurt the workers politicians purported to help, Aboudi said.

“This kills the liberty of being a trucker and kills the American dream,” Miguel Ramirez, a Los Angeles-based trucker, told the DCNF in July 2022.

It’s not just truckers who are impacted by regulations and their impacts on California’s trucking operators, Aboudi explained to the DCNF. There are many thousands of blue-collar workers — including immigrants like him — whose jobs rely on California’s busy ports, providing parts for trucks and other closely-related trades.

“I am still paying for trucks that I upgraded on the last round, and I can’t use them,” Aboudi continued, referencing older regulations. “Now I’m paying for the newer trucks that I upgraded to. And I’m being told I’m gonna have to go to zero-emission trucks that are still in the first stage of development … We’ve already had to downsize our company from 13 trucks to eight trucks.”

While bureaucrats in Sacramento and the supporters of their political superiors in Los Angeles and San Francisco may think that their progressive approach to environmental policy is benefiting minority communities, the opposite is true in many cases, according to Donna Jackson, the director of membership development for the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Project 21.

“California leads the country in enacting climate change policies that are increasingly leading to tiered social classes, the rich and the poor,” Jackson told the DCNF. “Like the Biden administration, California has ignored the real needs of underserved communities. Its climate change policies are destroying minority businesses and creating needless barriers to upward economic mobility. The result of all of this is not just job losses, but lost role models, financially unstable families, declining home ownership rates and a loss of community pride.”

CARB did not respond immediately to a request for comment.





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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.