Republican Sen. Brian Dahle, who runs a seed and trucking business in Lassen County, pressed the Newsom administration on Tuesday about layering a zero-emission vehicle mandate on top of the state’s existing climate goals.

“I compete with companies and farms that aren't in California, and I'm struggling,” he said during a budget subcommittee hearing. He called California’s AB 32 Climate Scoping Plan the biggest tax on the trucking industry and said the state decides policy based on feeling good and not on evidence-based policies.

CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld clarified that Newsom’s executive order is a sales mandate and not a ban on use.

Blumenfeld also gave “a big thank you” to the agriculture industry for doing “an incredible job” in reducing emissions. Farmers have been “a tremendous partner and innovator” in matching funding to upgrade equipment in the San Joaquin Valley, he said.