Reyes Legislation to Reform Clean Transportation Program Clears Transportation Committee

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Sacramento –Assembly Bill 1389 authored by Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D -San Bernardino) revises and updates the Clean Transportation Program to focus investments in medium and heavy duty vehicles and infrastructure and ensure that investments are prioritized in pollution-ridden and disadvantaged communities.  These investments will help reduce the impact of emissions that occur due to the logistics sector which currently relies on the use of diesel trucks for goods movement.

“AB 1389 will incorporate program changes that will focus investments in the emerging medium- and heavy-duty freight industry, dedicate funding to projects in and benefiting disadvantaged communities, align the program to meet newer climate goals, and provide project preferences for projects that reduce emissions and particulate matter in our most polluted areas.”  Majority Leader Reyes continued, “The pollutants emitted from the transportation sector leave communities like the Inland Empire with dirty air and public health hazards. Cleaning up the transportation sector is critical to demonstrating that environmental justice and economic development not only can co-exist but are complimentary to each other.”

“CALSTART is proud to sponsor AB 1389, and we thank Majority Leader Reyes for her leadership on this legislation. The Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program has proven to be an essential resource in our transition to clean transportation options, however, the state’s climate and clean vehicle goals have evolved and the program should be modernized to reflect our new ambitious commitments. We thank Assembly Transportation Chair Friedman for her work on getting this measure out of her committee, and look forward to working with the Assembly as this bill continues through the process."-- John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART

Medium and heavy duty vehicles contribute disproportionately to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Electrifying the state’s medium and heavy duty sector will be crucial to meeting the state’s climate goals and improving air quality, especially in disadvantaged communities. Medium and heavy duty vehicles and equipment are critical to California’s businesses, freight operations, and transit systems, enabling critical domestic goods movement, international trade, mass transportation, and other essential services. Although they only represent a small share of California registered vehicle stock, accounting for about 1 million out of 31 million vehicles, or 3%, Medium and heavy duty vehicles are responsible for about 23% of on-road GHG emissions in the state because of comparatively low fuel efficiency and high number of miles traveled per year. Medium and heavy duty vehicles also contribute nearly 60% of the NOx emissions and 52% of PM2.5 statewide.

This bill would place a greater focus on funding investments in clean transportation in order to help the state meet its ambitious climate goals, in particular by prioritizing investments in medium and heavy duty vehicles and related infrastructure. This bill would add project preferences for projects that have an equity component to reduce emissions and particulate matter in the state’s most polluted areas. This bill still provides flexibility, within this new prioritization framework, for CEC to determine the best portfolio of clean transportation options in the light-duty and medium and heavy duty infrastructure and alternative fuels sectors.