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Published on May 15, 2024
Arizona Leads Multi-State Resistance Against California's Clean Trucking MandateSource: Google Street View

In a direct challenge to California's environmental stance, the Arizona state legislature is rallying behind a multi-state effort to halt a regulation that's been viewed as a threat to trucking businesses. The contentious mandate in question would see truckers either shelving their conventional diesel-powered rigs or being barred from rolling down California thoroughfares.

This coalition, seemingly intent on quickly putting a stop to these measures, comprises 16 states that see California's Advanced Clean Fleets regulation as an overreach of state authority. The crux of their argument places emphasis on the inter-state nature of trucking, asserting that federal oversight should trump that of any single state. "It is a misconceived and nationwide policy executed without the blessing of Congress or the consent of elected leaders in affected States," a coalition statement details, according to a report from AZPM.

Arizona officials and their counterparts argue that the regulation will negatively impact the flow of supplies into California, potentially rippling out to disrupt national supply chains. Truck drivers would face a stark ultimatum: upgrade to zero-emission vehicles or steer clear of California, which could lead to longer routes and escalated delivery costs.

On the flip side, California champions these regulations as an essential step toward cleaner air and better public health. The California Air Resources Board backs the policy, which is said to save an estimated $26.5 billion in health benefits. The net cost savings for fleets are expected to total about $48 billion. In defense of the policy, they emphasize the need to aggressively curtail emissions, especially from heavier vehicles that contribute heavily to overall pollution levels.

The initiative, which was greenlit last year, specifically targets vehicles weighing over 8,500 pounds, among others, in a bid to reduce tailpipe emissions. The implications for trucking companies are significant, with many anticipation daunting financial challenges in overhauling their fleets. The battle lines have been drawn, and this interstate policy skirmish is likely far from its last mile.