January 21, 2022 – CNGVC President Nicole Rice makes the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s 2022-23 climate change budget plan unveiled earlier this month:
“The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (CNGVC) is pleased to see that Governor Newsom’s January budget shares our commitment to a carbon-negative future in the transportation sector. However, the steps required to achieve long-term climate change goals and near-term air pollution reductions are not synonymous. Unfortunately, the budget proposal focuses almost exclusively on long-term goals and Californians need relief from harmful air quality today.
Emissions from diesel trucks have one of the largest impacts on California’s air quality, and the disadvantaged communities along our transportation corridors suffer increased risk of asthma, cancer and cardiovascular health problems as a result of harmful air pollution. A successful, sustainable transition to a carbon-negative future necessitates a balanced and diversified approach that utilizes all available clean transportation solutions.
Fortunately, there is a viable near-term option that can immediately reduce emissions: Low NOx heavy-duty trucks powered by renewable natural gas (RNG). Low NOx trucks, which are certified to meet a .02 standard and are traditionally known as near-zero vehicles (NZEVs), are commercially available and in-use today with a proven performance record that meets or exceeds traditional diesel and can be quickly deployed as a cleaner alternative to the existing diesel fleet. These trucks are the best, most effective and immediate solution to reducing harmful emissions from the heavy-duty diesel sector. NZEVs can:
We appreciate the Governor and the Legislature for providing $45 million in the 2021-22 budget to support programs to replace diesel trucks with a near-zero option. This amount—if allowed to deploy—could displace approximately 450 diesel trucks, but that number represents only a fraction of the need. California cannot let diesel be our default fuel option for the next decade while we wait for the heavy-duty zero-emission truck industry to develop and deploy.
We encourage the Governor and Legislature to go further and provide sufficient funding to replace every diesel truck on California’s highways with both near-zero AND zero emission trucks, where they are feasible and available. Additionally, CNGVC encourages the Governor and Legislature to consider adding funding for near-zero trucks into the various clean energy incentives, grants, workforce development, and pilot programs identified in the January Budget.
CNGVC looks forward to engaging with the Governor and the Legislature over the next few months with one clear message—displace diesel trucks with the broader deployment of Low NOx trucks powered by RNG to deliver cleaner air, improve public health, and reduce climate pollutants.“