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California needs electric trucks and clean air

3,233
Supporters Spoke up in this Action
Delivery to the California Air Resources Board

Action Ended On

October 16, 2022

What Happens Next

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

What was at Stake

Polluting heavy-duty trucks could soon have an expiration date in California — but only if we speak up. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), the agency charged with making sure our state breathes clean air, announced a proposal to shift the sale of heavy-duty trucks to zero emissions models, and to end the health-harming use of diesel trucks at ports. Tell CARB to act now to clean up our air.

We want to see them take advantage of rapidly advancing technologies and protect impacted communities as soon as possible by accelerating the proposed deadline for achieving 100% sales of zero-emitting trucks from 2040 to 2036. Goodbye, tailpipes. Hello, clean air and healthy lungs.

CARB is taking public comment on the proposal through October 16. Join us in using your voice to push for a zero emissions future in California.

Trucks make up a small portion of vehicles on the road in California, but are 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 the roads can benefit all of us. The shift to zero emissions trucks will give families living along major freeways and freight corridors in California cleaner air and necessary relief.

Just because it’s the right thing for CARB to do, doesn’t mean the agency will do it. The agency has an unfortunate history of sidelining environmental justice voices, and the trucking industry is already lining up to weaken the new requirements. 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 shift California to zero emissions trucks as soon as possible — for our lungs, and for our climate future.

Heavy duty electric truck
DENNIS SCHROEDER / NREL

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.

Your Actions Matter

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

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You level the playing field.

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

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. 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.

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.

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 more 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.