It is no lie that trucks on the road are one of the leading causes of pollution within Colorado. Recently the Air Quality Control Division has come up with clean truck rules. You may be asking yourself what are these rules? The rules would require truck manufacturers to produce and deliver to Colorado an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks each year. They will also require manufacturers to meet much tougher pollution standards for diesel or gasoline trucks they make for sale in Colorado.
We’re is still not on track when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions required under HB19-1261. Vehicles are one of the largest contributors when it comes to GHG emissions. Ironically, emissions from the vehicle sector are rising. Larger commercial vehicles such as trucks tend to have even more of an impact. By adopting the clean truck policy, we would be cutting medium and heavy-duty emissions by 45% or more by mid-century. The climate protection benefit from this is worth more than $10 billion.
This ruling will also save us money and create jobs. Electric trucks cost about $2000 less per year to fuel and maintain than diesel versions. Additionally, accelerating electric trucks deployment will lower everyone’s electricity bills. The extra revenue resulting from vehicle owners paying for electricity to fuel their vehicles could reduce average electric customer utility bill by more than 2% by 2050. Adopting this would send a powerful market signal, stimulate investments, increase availability of zero emissions models in the Rocky mountain west where market options are currency limited, and support high-quality technology jobs.
By transitioning, this would also benefit public health and also be a big step in the right direction when it comes to environmental justice. Toxic diesel is extremely damaging to human health that can lead to health issues such as higher rates of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disorders, and premature death. While these issues eventually affect all Coloradans, they disproportionately impact low-income communities and BIPOC communities. A rule package like the one proposed by AQCC would cut smog and soot-forming emissions by 90% compared to today.
This new ruling by the AQCC has been a multiyear campaign that was backed by environmental groups. Jefferson county has I-70 one of the states most used highways that runs right through our communities. A ruling such as this can benefit Lakewood along with Jefferson county so our children can breath cleaner air.
Shelby Sedgwick, Lakewood