California state regulators approved on Friday a ban on the sale of new big rigs and buses that run on diesel by 2036, going beyond the federal government in issuing requirements to reduce emissions and setting the stage for other states to follow suit.
The rule is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious moves by California and the federal government to curb planet-warming pollution from vehicles, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gases.
The California Air Resources Board approved the regulation, which by 2045 would fully eliminate the sale of new trucks that emit carbon dioxide across the state. The rule builds in intermediate goals in the coming years for government organizations and private companies to decrease their use of diesel trucks.
The ban, if approved by the federal government, would create the most stringent practices related to truck emissions in the country, keeping California at the forefront of states in trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Some large companies have already begun to use heavy-duty vehicles that emit little to no carbon dioxide, but the plan would require a complete transition in new truck purchases by 2036.
“This rule provides manufacturers, truck owners and fueling providers the assurance that there will be a market and the demand for zero-emissions vehicles, while providing a flexible path to making the transition toward clean air,” Liane Randolph, chair of the board, said in a statement.
But the American Trucking Associations, a trade organization for the trucking industry, criticized the ban, saying that it has worked to significantly reduce emissions but needs more flexibility. Chris Spear, the president and chief executive of the group, said California was setting “unrealistic targets and unachievable timelines” that will increase costs.
The state hopes the ban will save money related to health costs caused by pollution, including asthma attacks and respiratory illness.