California is indisputably a world leader on climate action — and that commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions has driven substantial economic growth, from $66 billion in clean energy investments to nearly 540,000 clean energy jobs.

With the state’s transportation sector — and the fossil fuels that power it — accounting for nearly half of the greenhouse gases California emits annually, California can continue its legacy of climate leadership and economic prosperity by simultaneously decarbonizing our transportation sector and cultivating our nascent electric vehicle market.

Thankfully, California’s government recognizes this opportunity and is not standing idly by. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule to accelerate the transition to zero-emission trucks by requiring manufacturers to supply an increasing number of clean medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in California beginning in 2024, ranging from 8,500-pound pickups and vans to 30,000-pound semis.

And the California business community is lining up behind this effort. 268 California business leaders — from cleantech entrepreneurs to corporate executives and everything in between — signed onto this letter urging CARB to swiftly adopt an ambitious ACT rule. On economics alone, it’s clear why a broad and diverse swath of the California business community supports the transition to zero-emission trucks.

Decarbonizing California’s trucks via a robust ACT rule promises substantial economic benefits beyond the public health improvements from reducing greenhouse gases and other toxic air pollutants from fossil fuel-burning trucks. Just a few examples:

  • According to a recent study by ICF International, truck electrification accelerated by a strong ACT rule could support close to a million California manufacturing and construction job-years through 2030 and add over $100 billion to the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
  • CARB’s analysis of the proposal estimates that the ACT rule will save the California trucking industry nearly $6 billion, mostly due to fuel cost savings, and will contribute almost $9 billion in statewide health benefits through 2040 from reduced mortality and fewer hospitalizations.
  • In 2019, electric vehicles were the state’s 2nd most valuable export, worth over $7 billion in revenue. The ACT rule and other forward-leaning policies will help California strengthen its position as a clean vehicle exporter.

Considering the enormous economic benefits, it’s no surprise California business leaders and job creators support a strong ACT rule. Given the economic development driven by smart policy to decarbonize our transportation sector, E2 will continue to support ambitious climate action, including a complimentary clean truck fleet rule expected from CARB in the next year.

Now more than ever, we need policies with proven economic value to help us recover from the damage the COVID-19 crisis has wrought on California’s economy, with over 105,000 California clean energy jobs lost in March and April alone. Now is the time for visionary policies that continue advancing a proven economic engine to put Californians back to work building the prosperous and resilient economy of the future. The E2 community knows the ACT rule will deliver on that promise.

Good for California’s Economy and Environment: E2 Business Community Supports Accelerating the Transition to Zero-Emission Trucks was originally published in e2org on Medium.

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