Every mode of freight transportation – from planes and trains, to trucks and ships — has a major air pollution footprint that dirties the air in communities close to freight amenities and highways, whereas contributing to the climate disaster.

Yet, lowering air pollution from the freight motion just isn’t primarily a technology matter. It is a matter of political will.

Today, I hope to convey this message earlier than two House Transportation & Infrastructure subcommittees at an necessary hearing on the financial, environmental and societal impacts of freight transportation. I additionally hope that my testimony — and that of others at the listening to — will assist the House develop a 2020 transportation invoice that builds on the Senate’s model of the Highway Reauthorization Bill accredited earlier this yr.

With Congressional management, we will make great strides in lowering the practically 11,000 untimely deaths yearly occurring from publicity to freight air pollution on this nation and put the sector on a path to contribute to a 100% clean economy by 2050.

Federal coverage is essential to reworking freight

As the main supply of each native and international air pollution from freight, heavy-duty trucks require particular focus from Congress.

Zero-emission alternate options are more and more viable, as evidenced by the surge of product bulletins over the previous two years for parcel supply trucks, city supply trucks, yard trucks, and regional trucking. Over two dozen truck fashions are in manufacturing or improvement. All main unique gear producers and a number of other new entrants have zero-emission choices.

Congress should act now to accelerate the transition to zero-emission trucks Click To Tweet

Yet regardless of this progress, diesel trucks will nonetheless account for greater than half of the trucks on the highway in 2050 at our present tempo of adoption.

Federal coverage management might be essential to accelerate this transformation to zero-emission autos, which might drive down carbon emissions; cut back air air pollution, particularly in city communities; and strengthen a cornerstone manufacturing base that gives well-paying jobs.

Well-designed coverage can advance 4 targets that can collectively decide the impression and tempo of adoption for zero-emission autos:

1. Encourage the manufacturing of zero-emission heavy-duty autos
Example polices embody:
• Launching a program that gives direct authorities loans for heavy-duty automobile producers to produce zero-emission trucks. A program of this type would allow producers to expedite bringing zero-emission heavy-duty trucks to market.
• Increasing funding to the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which might be focused at technology developments, reminiscent of enhancing charging techniques and advancing battery design to allow lighter, extra energy-dense and lower-cost batteries.

2. Increase the demand for zero-emission heavy-duty autos
Example insurance policies embody:
• Suspending the federal excise tax on zero-emission trucks. This tax is predicated on the buy worth of the automobile and subsequently exacerbates the upfront value discrepancy between diesel and zero-emission trucks. Policymakers should waive this tax for zero-emission trucks by way of the mid-2020s, when the upfront prices of diesel and zero-emission trucks are anticipated to begin converging.
• Expanding the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). DERA, which was first enacted in 2010, funded a extremely in style and bipartisan set of tasks that defend human well being and enhance air high quality by curbing diesel emissions. It is at the moment funded at $75 million a yr. A major improve on this program to help the alternative of outdated diesel autos with ZEVs might assist improve fleet turnover and get extra ZEVs on the highway as shortly as attainable.

3. Ensure public expenditures drive simply and equitable outcomes
Example insurance policies embody:
• Giving choice to deployments of ZEVs in low-income communities and communities of colour, that are disproportionately impacted by diesel truck air pollution.
• Creating a fee to develop methods to transition drayage trucks — which transport items over quick distances and are a major contributor to poor air high quality in quite a few main metro areas — to zero-emission autos. Given the pressing want to drive down air pollution round ports and rail yards the place many frontline communities are situated, a federal fee should be established to develop suggestions for totally transitioning these autos to zero emissions by 2030.

4. Support the improvement of applicable charging infrastructure
Example insurance policies embody:
• Directing the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy to work with states to outline a complete nationwide EV charging infrastructure plan. Doing so will assist alleviate vary nervousness, mitigate costly, pointless grid upgrades, and facilitate higher integration of renewable energy.

While freight is a significant supply of air air pollution, options are at hand, and Congress should act now to accelerate the transition to these autos. With daring motion, zero-emission autos can account for at the least 30% of recent heavy-duty autos gross sales nationally by 2030 — placing the trade on a path to contribute to a 100% clear economic system by 2050. Doing so will assist bolster our manufacturing base, create jobs and place the U.S. to export options globally, whereas equitably lowering well being impacts to communities and exhibiting international management in preventing climate change.



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