Insane California green energy rules could wreck trucking industry

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Without truckers, America would grind to a halt. There’s no doubt about it. Truckers work a demanding job delivering our food, clothes and other necessities. But rather than support our hard-working men and women behind the wheel, President Joe Biden continues to empty their wallets and force them to drive electric trucks for his radical climate-change agenda.

Well, we are pushing back. The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California have no right or legal justification to force truckers to follow their radical climate-change policies. That’s why I, along with 18 other state attorneys general, are taking Biden to court.

Iowa’s trucking industry employs about 100,000 Iowans. That is nearly one in 13 of our state’s workers. Meanwhile, Biden’s illegal truck ban puts the whole industry at risk. The Biden administration has set us on track to devastate the nation’s biofuels industry, hike prices for businesses and truckers, and designate California as a leading decision-maker in the trucking industry.


In March, the Biden administration’s EPA violated the Constitution by granting California a waiver to issue its own set of truck emissions standards. Those radical standards go further than the regulations set for the rest of the country and effectively ban the sale of gas or diesel trucks.

White semi truck and blue trailer on the road.

California and eight other states have embraced the radical, climate-change regulation that will force trucking companies to purchase expensive and inferior vehicles.  (iStock)

California’s truck ban requires that about 55% of delivery vans and small trucks, 75% of buses and larger trucks, and 40% of tractor-trailers and other big rigs be fully electric by 2035. By 2045, gas and diesel trucks will be outright banned from being sold in California.

But it gets much worse. Due to the Biden administration’s waiver, it is likely that these rules will impact not just California, but America in its entirety. Since California has such a large economy – the fifth largest in the world – its radical climate-change agenda influences the entire trucking industry.

States are forced to comply with California’s zero-emissions standards to compete in the market. This incentivizes truck manufacturing companies to spike prices for gas and diesel vehicles so that Americans won’t buy them.

Eight other states have already adopted California’s sweeping truck ban, including Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Connecticut, Maine and North Carolina are following in their footsteps.

Truckers voice concerns over cost of Biden's electric pushVideo

Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it say that California gets to make the rules for the rest of the country. On the contrary, the Constitution requires equal sovereignty among the states, meaning that one state does not get special treatment to set the standards for everyone else.

In fact, the Clean Air Act provision used to justify the EPA’s waiver is unconstitutional precisely because it violates the equal sovereignty principle. The EPA’s waiver also triggers the major-questions doctrine, a legal principle that means big regulations need to go through Congress, rather than unelected bureaucrats.


And make no mistake, with California’s truck ban, rural America will be left in the dust. Charging stations are scarce in the countryside. Considering electric trucks have significantly shorter range than gas or diesel trucks, traveling an average of about 870 to 1,050  fewer miles between fueling, supply chain nightmares lie ahead.

States are forced to comply with California’s zero-emissions standards to compete in the market. This incentivizes truck manufacturing companies to spike prices for gas and diesel vehicles so that Americans won’t buy them.

Despite being two to three times more expensive, electric trucks are also less efficient. Rather than 15 minutes to fill up, electric trucks take 10 hours to fully charge. And if we have learned anything from California’s rolling blackouts, it’s that our power grid isn’t ready to support the sharp influx of electric vehicles. The issues are endless.

The harsh reality for the trucking industry – which already faces increased operations costs, rising fuel prices and a shortage of drivers – is that it will be forced to cut jobs and make other challenging decisions as a result of the expensive regulations that threaten to put truckers out of business altogether.

As attorneys general, we aren’t going to take a backseat as the Biden administration and California attempt to impose their radical climate agenda and regulate truckers out of business. It’s time to hit the brakes on the California truck ban, and our lawsuit will do just that.

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