California lawmakers are trying very hard to pass legislation that would increase gas and diesel fuel taxes — so hard that they’ve offered truckers something surprising in exchange for their support.

Diesel Tax Would Cost Truckers Billions Over The Next Decade

Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed bill would fund California’s much needed infrastructure fix by increasing taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. The bill would generate over $50 billion over a ten year period. Truck drivers would wind up paying an extra $0.20 per gallon of diesel if the bill passes. Over a decade, truckers would pay an extra $10.8 billion in increased taxes.

The trucking industry was not exactly thrilled about the idea of paying more for diesel in a state where they already pay some of the highest fuel taxes in the country.

California Lawmakers Offer Trucking A Break On Emissions Requirements

In an apparent attempt to win over the trucking industry, California lawmakers have added an amendment to the bill that would address another one of trucking’s greatest foes — CARB.

Amendment 18 reads, “This bill would prohibit, except as specified, the requiring of the retirement, replacement, retrofit, or repower of a self-propelled commercial motor vehicle, directly or indirectly, during a specified period.” Simply put, this would mean that California could not require truckers to upgrade to lower-emissions models before the trucks are 13 years old (or before they reach 800,000 miles). The amendment assures drivers that if they do invest in a new truck, CARB won’t force them to take it off the road before they’ve gotten their money’s worth out of it.

Environmentalists have harshly criticized Amendment 18, referring to it as the “dirty truck amendment.”

However, without the support of the trucking industry, other California business interests are likely to drop their support and it isn’t probable that the bill would pass.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill before the end of the week.

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