Governor Brown has stepped up his commitment to clean air with today’s executive order on freight transportation. We commend the Governor for prioritizing sustainable freight, and we look forward to working with the state agencies to make zero-emission goods movement a reality.
Shipment of goods is an important part of California’s economy, but the burden of that freight transportation too often falls on the lungs and health of residents of low-income communities of color, who suffer from disproportionate exposure to diesel exhaust and other damage caused by the trucks, trains and ships that carry goods from our ports to inland destinations throughout the country. Freight-related emissions also contribute significantly to the build-up of greenhouse gases that are changing our climate. Today’s order gives hopes to our communities by setting a goal of transitioning to zero-emission technologies, along with improving freight efficiency and increasing competitiveness. The Governor recognizes that a prosperous economy and healthy air should go hand in hand.
Existing state policies, particularly the rules set by the Air Resources Board, have made major progress in reducing freight-related emissions, but we must do much better in order to provide healthy air and stabilize the climate. Governor Brown has done the right thing by ordering ARB and the transportation, energy and business departments to work together to develop an integrated action plan by July 2016.
Coalition for Clean Air, along with our allies in the California Cleaner Freight Coalition, will be participating in the development of that plan at each step of the way.