US west coast incentivises natural gas vehicles

Trucks which move goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, account for 33% of the state’s NOx emissions Photo: ACT Now LA Trucks which move goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, account for 33% of the state’s NOx emissions Photo: ACT Now LA

The California state legislature has passed a landmark series of bills that will provide US$895 million towards incentive programmes to reduce air pollution from vehicles.

Specifically, the legislation allocates $250 million toward the Carl Moyer programme, $140 million toward incentivising cleaner emissions vehicles at the ports and another $180 million towards the Clean Bus and Truck programme which underwrites Low-NOx natural gas engines.

“This is the largest investment to clean air in our state’s history and will provide incentives to replace dirty diesel engines with cleaner-burning natural gas engines that will directly result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the reduction of smog-forming pollutants,” said Thomas Lawson, president of the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition.

Titled the California Clean Air Initiative, the bills will use cap and trade funds to replace harmful diesel engines in heavy-duty trucks and buses.

The passage of the Clean Air Initiative is particularly timely as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are scheduled to vote on a Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) in early November.

Trucks which move goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach account for 33% of the state’s NOx emissions and 26% of diesel particulate matter that contributes to lung disease and other respiratory ailments.

With funding now available, the final version of the California Clean Air Initiative draft plan allows diesel trucks to continue operating in the ports for another 17 years. But after that they will need to be replaced with new trucks using low-NOx natural gas engines fueled by renewable natural gas (RNG).

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