Gipson: Renewable fuel best clean air option
Why would anyone distort information to kill technologies capable of providing clean air today?
The 2017 Peterbilt Model 320, outfitted with a Cummins near-zero emissions natural gas engine, is one of three trucks included in the California the state’s Hybrid Vehicle Incentive Program. Photo: Peterbuilt
The use of near-zero emission technology powered by renewable fuel a real path to clean air
By MIKE A. GIPSON
As our region attempts to address the worst air quality in the nation through the adoption of clean transportation and freight fleets, policy makers, and local communities are being flooded with information — some real, some false.
Recent misinformation aims to vilify near-zero emission technology in our transportation and freight sectors, ignoring real facts and exposing port and freight corridor communities to tons of annual toxic emissions.
For example, a recent report from The Union of Concerned Scientists falsely claimed that new near-zero emission engine technology only reduces the harmful greenhouse nitrogen oxide gas (NOx) by 50 percent. But in fact, emission test data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) found that NOx is actually reduced by more than 90 percent.
So, why would anyone distort information to prevent the adoption of technologies capable of providing clean air today?
Those spreading misinformation in order to prevent the adoption of proven, cost-effective, technologies capable of delivering clean air today, endanger the health of entire communities at the expense of a blinding obsession with electric technologies.
While I support our state’s path to a zero-emissions future, the fact remains: the most cost-effective option to reduce the smog-forming pollutants is the use of near-zero emission technology powered by renewable fuel.
Study after study demonstrates that not only are electric options in heavy-duty transportation and freight fleets cost-prohibitive but our state also currently lacks the fueling/charging infrastructure to support them. A 2015 study estimated that a transition to electric buses by L.A. Metro would increase total fleet costs by up to 14 percent — as opposed to a transition to near-zero buses powered by renewable fuel, which was estimated to increase total fleet costs by only 1 percent while also providing greater greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
But real facts are not enough. Leadership requires action. As a legislator representing freight corridor communities, I am committed to protecting the health of the 64th Assembly District and residents throughout the great state of California.
The path to a zero emissions future requires bold leadership, as well as thoughtful, strategic approaches that prioritize health and are rooted in real facts. Our communities deserve clean air now. I look forward to working with those who share this belief.
Mike A. Gipson is the California State Assembly representative for the 64th Assembly District.