March 5, 2018
The Coalition has finalized its proactive legislative agenda for this session, so far sponsoring two bills and opposing one, and planning events to educate legislators and their staff about clean transportation issues and technology.
The Coalition’s sponsored bills are AB 2061, the Clean Truck Deployment Act, which increases weight limits for alternative fuel vehicles, and AB 2506, which allows state fleets to use near-zero-emission NGVs to meet requirements for clean vehicle purchases. The Coalition continues to oppose AB 1745, which bans registering all new non-zero-emission passenger cars by Jan. 1, 2040.
“We’ve hit the ground running this session,” said Coalition President Thomas Lawson. “We’re excited that legislators are introducing policies that demonstrate the role that NGVs—and all alternative-fuel technologies—should play in cleaning up California’s air.”
The Coalition is also closely watching several bills that it may support. Of particular interest are AB 2006 and AB 2008, which support technology-inclusive approaches to clean transportation.
AB 2006, written by Assemblymember Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), establishes the Agricultural Worker Clean Transportation Investment Program, which would provide funding for purchasing near-zero-emission and zero-emission vehicles to use as vanpools for agricultural workers who live in disadvantaged or low-income communities. AB 2008, by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), allows truck buyers to exclude from their gross income any funding received through the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program for buying new low-emission or zero-emission engines.
Additionally, the Assembly and the Senate have filed spot bills (AB 3187 and SB 1440) that indicate their intention to write legislation establishing California’s goals for procuring biomethane. The Coalition will closely monitor these bills, particularly as they relate to dairy-based biomethane and production of RNG.
Additional support for the Coalition’s agenda
Lawson has also begun working with legislative advocate Josiah Young, an attorney with Churchill White LLP, a Sacramento law firm focused on public policy.
“We’re at the state capitol every day to educate and express our concerns,” said Young. “We’re working to change the misconception that California is on a ZEV-only path to meet its air quality goals, and to ensure that policymakers know California can start cleaning up fleets now by employing natural gas technologies.”
“We’re extremely fortunate to have Josiah on our team,” said Lawson, noting that the Coalition has worked with a legislative advocate in the past. “He’s got expertise in renewable energy, advanced vehicle technology, and communicating with legislative members and staff. He is deeply familiar with the legislative process and has the relationships to effectively advocate for our industry.”
Legislative bill hearings begin this month, so Young and Lawson are planning two educational events for legislators and their staff members. This month, Lawson will host a legislative briefing to discuss the importance of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the role that low-carbon fuels, including RNG, and internal combustion engines can play in California’s economy and in meeting air quality goals.
In May, the Coalition will hold its annual lobby day in Sacramento. Like last year’s event, it will focus on educating policymakers about the NGV industry and the technology’s immediate benefits for the environment. Lawson also plans to advocate for the Coalition’s sponsored bills.
Meanwhile, Lawson is encouraging Coalition members and NGV stakeholders to share their success stories with state policymakers, informing them about new product launches, CARB certification wins, and case studies that demonstrate how fleets are using NGVs to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
“Legislators really listen to their constituents, and our members’ voices and stories are a powerful way to let them know about the benefits that NGVs are providing right in their districts,” said Lawson. “I would love to help facilitate meetings between our members and legislative staff members so they can engage one-on-one.”
Photo ©Westport Innovations, used by permission