Padilla Applauds Announcement of First-Ever National Goal of Zero-Emissions Freight Sector and Nearly $1.5 Billion to Support Zero-Emission HDV Transition

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) applauded the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of the first-ever national goal to transition to a zero-emissions freight sector for the truck, rail, aviation, and marine industries, along with a commitment to develop a national zero-emissions freight strategy. This whole-of-government strategy includes new federal investments, continued engagement with stakeholders on zero-emissions freight infrastructure, and forthcoming action plans for each freight segment.

The Administration also announced a nearly $1 billion funding opportunity through the Inflation Reduction Act for cities, states and tribes to replace polluting heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) with zero-emissions vehicles, support infrastructure to charge, fuel, and maintain zero-emission HDVs, and advance workforce development and training to facilitate the transition. At least $400 million of the program’s funding will serve communities dealing with significant air pollution, such as those near California’s freight hubs.

“California’s ports and freight system move the goods that fuel our national economy, yet it’s our local communities that bear the burdens of the poor air quality and harmful climate impacts that come with goods movement,” said Senator Padilla. “That’s why I have been pushing the Administration to focus on how to decarbonize the entire freight system, including buses, trucks, locomotives, planes, and ships. I applaud the Administration for following through on their obligation to reduce air pollution and advance environmental justice, and for building upon California’s leadership to slash emissions along goods movement corridors.”

Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas and air pollution in the United States, accounting for more than a quarter of all greenhouse emissions nationwide. Despite California’s leadership and significant progress in reducing carbon emissions, the transportation sector and federally controlled pollution sources are still the largest source of air pollution in California cities. The Greater Los Angeles Region remains the “smoggiest” region in the United States, with an F grade for air quality, and although carbon emissions are falling, the state is still on track to fall short of its climate goals. HDVs, locomotives, and ports are among the biggest polluters in the state.

A national strategy encompassing the whole freight sector, including HDVs, ships, trains, and more, will help significantly reduce these harmful impacts to air quality, climate change, and public health while improving American economic competitiveness and accelerating job creation.

Senator Padilla has consistently fought for emissions reductions across the freight sector. Last year, Padilla led 23 members of California’s Congressional delegation in urging federal agencies to advance a whole-of-government strategy to address California’s unique air quality challenges.

Earlier this year, Padilla successfully pushed the Administration to launch a National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy to guide the national deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty freight transportation vehicle (ZE-MHDV) charging and fueling infrastructure, which followed his efforts to call on the Joint Office to prioritize the deployment of ZE-MHDV as part of its core mission. Additionally, Padilla recently applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the strongest national greenhouse gas standards in history for HDV emissions to begin in model year 2027, following a series of efforts he led. Last year, Padilla introduced legislation to reduce air pollution within the shipping industry. Padilla’s Clean Shipping Act of 2023 aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry to protect the health of port communities and address the environmental injustice impacts of the climate crisis. He also successfully pushed the EPA to grant authorization for California’s Clean Shipping Rule. Additionally, Padilla urged EPA Administrator Michael Regan to support California priorities in the implementation of the Clean Ports Program.


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