Politico Pro: Congressional Dems ask EPA to mandate more zero-emission trucks

By Camille Von Kaenel

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and 80 other Democratic members of Congress on Monday asked the U.S. EPA to tighten its sales requirements for zero-emission trucks.

The request from Padilla, Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and others is aimed at tightening EPA’s draft rules to match California’s, which envision phasing out sales of new gas-powered trucks by 2036.

EPA’s proposed rule, released in April, would require 25 percent of truck sales to be zero-emission by the mid-2030s. The members of Congress cited California’s rule and voluntary announcements by companies including Amazon and Walmart that they would voluntarily aim to cut half or all the emissions from their fleets by 2030.

Seventeen other states have adopted California’s rules for zero-emission passenger vehicles, covering roughly 40 percent of the national market. Eight have adopted California’s rules for zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, covering roughly a quarter of the national market.

The rules had been tied up in a lawsuit by the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), but the trade group agreed to drop its legal challenges to the California rules in July.

The members of Congress also asked EPA to finalize a proposal to make it easier for California to set rules limiting emissions from locomotives. California’s rules, adopted this spring, would require locomotives to be less than 23 years old or zero-emissions to operate in California starting in 2030.

But federal law currently prohibits states from regulating locomotives, which fall under interstate commerce. EPA proposed changes to its preemption requirement in April that would let California enforce its rules.

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