As California begins to transition to electric trucks in the coming years, interstate imports will likely still arrive by diesel engine. The Air Resources Board is considering a regulation to convert most of California’s medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus fleets potentially by 2036, while previous clean truck regulations are starting the phase-in much sooner.
Michael Boccadoro, executive director of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association, explained to the State Board of Food and Agriculture this week that California cannot regulate interstate commerce and that it will be “very common” for out-of-state fleets to still use diesel or natural gas trucks within California. He pointed out that many trucks already fuel up with cheaper diesel at the border before crossing into California.

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Switching gears in a discussion about the energy transition, Boccadoro argued that phasing out all natural gas use will be a “massive, massive undertaking.” He pointed to tremendous cost overruns with the state’s high-speed rail project to say the estimated price for the state’s energy transition is likely on the low side. Just adding transmission lines to carry the electric load will cost at least $100 billion, he calculated.

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