Biden makes move to end gas-powered trucks in California

 March 21, 2023

With a wink and a nod from the Biden administration, California's uber progressive governor is moving to rid the state's highways of diesel trucks.

The new pollution standards from Democrat Gavin Newsom are reportedly poised for approval from the Biden administration, which plans to grant a sweeping regulatory waiver.

The EPA waiver allows California to set its own, significantly stricter pollution standards under the Clean Air Act.

Biden, Newsom target trucks

Six states -- which together with California make up 20 percent of all trucking sales -- have already pledged to follow California's rules, the Washington Post reported.

Critics of California's waiver say it allows the state to pressure the market to adopt its liberal standards.

“If just California alone is allowed to enforce these requirements, that would be enough to push the entire market … in that direction … because these companies cannot build different sets of trucks for different regions of the country," Steven Bradbury, a Heritage Foundation fellow, said.

The rules would impose stricter pollution limits on new heavy-duty vehicles, such as delivery vans and 18-wheelers, starting in 2024. That's three years ahead of Biden's own target in 2027.

"Lead the way"

The standards would also force auto manufacturers to sell more "zero-emission" trucks to meet the state's deadline of eliminating diesel-powered trucks by 2045.

Newsom isn't keeping the ambitious scope of the new rules a secret. He boasted that California will "lead the way" in the effort to phase out diesel-powered trucks.

“Heavy-duty trucks account for nearly a third of harmful air pollutants. We need bold action,” he tweeted.

The governor is also requiring all gas-powered cars to be phased out by 2035.


California's waiver was reversed under President Trump, but Biden is bringing it back as part of his aggressive climate agenda. The push also has a racial angle, as liberals argue pollution air pollution harms black and Hispanic resident disproportionately.

Industry groups have vowed to oppose the Biden-Newsom plan, saying it will increase costs for consumers.

“If the reports are in fact accurate, let us remind you that this isn’t the United States of California,” President and CEO Chris Spear of the American Trucking Association said.

Spear said the "unrealistic patchwork of regulations" would "lead to catastrophic disruptions well beyond California’s borders."

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