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Don Perata Blog: CARB Ban on New Diesel Truck Sales by 2036

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) decision to ban diesel truck sales by 2036 was made in a bubble. Certainly, its members can celebrate as “first in the world.” Earthjustice says, “the significance of the 100% (zero emission) sales requirement cannot be overstated. It makes California the undisputed global leader in zero emission truck sales. The rule is evidence of CARB’s boldness.” 

Except CARB is a non-elected state board setting public policy free from responsibility for long-lasting effects on consumers and the economy. 


In 14-years, how many charging stations can the interstates build? Including costs for land acquisition, lawsuits, construction, maintenance, and load capacity. 

Average ZEV charging-time is between 4-6 hours (aka: UNKNOWN. Since truck owners, consumers, and voters would be most affected, why not commission independent cost-benefit analysis? Afterall, this is not a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Would direct savings on diesel fuel and maintenance offset the anticipated costs to purchase a ZEV truck, time lost at charging stations, and more frequent recharging? How much state and local diesel fuel tax revenue is lost?

The potential impact on the grid. Here we do have empirical data. Most residents have experienced black outs. What goes dark? A priority list? Should legislators choose which businesses and public services must have back-up generators to protect lives and livelihoods?

The purchase price of a Tesla tractor-trailer is twice as expensive as a diesel. The state experience with much less costly passenger vehicles required rebates, tax breaks, and exemptions. And confusion and delays. Who’s first in line? How much in government subsidies using new taxes or general fund?

Two things are certain.

One: it’s the working class and those wanting to be working class who will bear the burden.

Two: most questions could be answered with a plan.

Start with the obvious: the unknown capital costs and subsidies that CARB’s decision presupposes. The governor’s Department of Finance or Office of Planning and Research could direct the University of California to put rhyme and rhythm to CARB’s words.

In its rush to score first, CARB failed to touch all the bases. Now while air board members are high-fivin’, legislators must play the heavy. And risk the electoral wrath of progressives AND environmentalists. Because as sure as God made little green apples, legislators, not anonymous CARB members, must be the political adults.

- Don Perata 
Former State Senator - District 9
President pro tempore of the California State Senate from 2004 to 2008

Protecting commercial real estate for over 50 years

Office: (916) 443-4676


1121 L Street, Suite 501
Sacramento, CA 95814

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