California needs electric trucks and clean air


Supporters spoke up in this action

Delivery to the California Air Resources Board

Action ended on April 7, 2023

What Happens Next

Thank you to all who took action! We’re grateful for your support.

What Was At Stake

In October, Earthjustice supporters like you called on the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the agency charged with making sure our state breathes clean air, to accelerate its proposed deadline for achieving 100% sales of zero-emissions trucks in large fleets from 2040 to 2036.  CARB heard our roar — in its updated proposal, the deadline for 100% is 2036. This development would not have been possible without supporters like you advocating for climate action and clean air. However, our work is not done. Industry is already lining up to fight back, and we need to make it clear to CARB that 2036 is the right deadline, no matter how much the industry complains. 

Trucks make up a small portion of vehicles on the road in California, but they’re the largest producer of our notorious smog problem. Of all the forms of pollution from our transportation sector, these trucks also expose Californians to the most cancer risk. Burning diesel creates one of the most toxic forms of air pollution for human health, and is linked to premature death, chronic heart and lung disease, asthma, and diminished lung function in children. 

California’s poor air quality negatively impacts the health of all Californians. From the Sierras to the Central Valley to the coast, cleaning up the dirtiest vehicles on our roads can benefit all of us. The shift to zeroemissions trucks will give families living along major freeways and freight corridors in California cleaner air and necessary relief.

To get this job done, we’ll need every voice, from every part of the state, to speak up for clean air. Join us today in telling CARB to hold the line and shift California to zeroemissions trucks as soon as possible — for our lungs, and for our climate future. 

Heavy duty electric truck
An electric heavy-duty truck used to move freight at the Port of Long Beach. California passed the nation's first electric truck standard in June 2020. (Dennis Schroeder / NREL)

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention. Read more.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue.

Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court. Read more.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment. Read more.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.