Bill would outlaw diesel trucks from state by 2050

Members of the trucking community say that they aren't sure how they would comply with the law if it passes.

California 2050

A California lawmaker recently introduced legislation that would eliminate almost all diesel trucks from operating in the state by 2050.

The bill, known as SB 44 or the “Ditching Dirty Diesel” bill, was introduced recently by State Senator Nancy Skinner. A news release from Skinner’s office says that the bill would  “phase out, over time, the use of polluting, diesel-fueled medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses in California and … speed up the transition to cleaner vehicle technologies and fuels, including zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).”

Skinner says that she believes that diesel emissions are harming the health of California residents — particularly those who live near truck routes.

The bill would work by mandating the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to require a 40% reduction in diesel emissions by 2030 and an 80% reduction in diesel emissions by 2050.

The bill would also require CARB to develop a market-based strategy to help medium and heavy duty trucks to become compliant with state emissions standards and would set aside funds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to assist with the transition to “clean” vehicles.

Members of the trucking industry say they are unsure of how they could comply with the new emissions requirements if the law passes.

Jim Buell, general manager of the North Bay Truck Center, told the San Francisco Chronicle that “I don’t think the technology has come far enough to phase out diesel, so I don’t see how it’s possible. It would be a big strain on the industry and it would absolutely affect our business. Every truck I’m looking at in my yard now is diesel.”

Tom Howard, fleet director for Veritable Vegetables, agreed that the requirements of bill would be difficult if not impossible for many companies to comply with. “Business would essentially stop without some type of a diesel engine fuel that can be burned. You’re talking tractors, forklifts, cranes. I just don’t see diesel going away. That fuel is 200 years old and it’s not going to be replaced in 30 years,” he said.

The bill is still being reviewed in committee and has not been put to a vote.