Freight interests in California and the West are petitioning the California Air Resources Board to revise proposed regulations for low-carbon fuel and a cap-and-trade mechanism for the freight transportation system.
The proposed draft regulations would significantly increase the cost of trucking and warehouse operations in California and would not achieve the environmental goals that spawned the initiatives, the freight interests stated.
The International Warehouse Logistics Association and the Western States Goods Movement Alliance submitted their statements to CARB for consideration as the air-quality agency works to finalize the regulations.
The freight organizations cited draft CARB regulations that would mandate a California-only reformulated, low-carbon diesel fuel; new standards that would require an increase in the use of renewable fuel and a requirement that warehouse operations with truck fleets retrofit their trailers or purchase new trailers that meet federal Environmental Protection Agency “Smart Way” standards.
Joel Anderson, president and chief executive of the IWLA, said the cumulative impact of the proposed regulations would be to force operators of warehouses and distribution centers to leave California.
If operators move to neighboring states such as Arizona and Nevada, emissions would actually increase because the miles traveled to serve California’s large population centers would be greater, Anderson aid.
The western states organization stated that CARB’s proposed regulations would increase utility rates 30 to 45 percent and would impose additional costs on oil refineries. The low-carbon requirement would increase the price of diesel fuel by 40 to 60 cents per gallon.
CARB’s low-carbon standard is especially problematic because at this time there is no acceptable fuel that meets the requirements for reducing greenhouse gases.
The freight interests support a requirement for use of low-carbon fuels that reduce greenhouse gases. They noted that their industry complies with regulations approved in past years that resulted in California producing clean-diesel fuel that significantly reduces nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and other emissions associated with health risks.
However, the freight interests urged CARB to first develop a viable “recipe” for low-carbon fuel before promulgating strict standards.
“We support the adoption of a low-carbon fuel standard when the technology and recipe are commercially viable,” the western states organization stated.
Also, rather than saddle California with a single-state requirement that will cause businesses to move to neighboring states that do not have such regulations, the organization wants CARB to wait until a low-carbon standard is adopted by all of the western states.
Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at email@example.com.