Dr. Richard Pan Urges Investment In Diesel-Free School Buses and Trucks
SACRAMENTO– On Tuesday, Dr. Richard Pan joined fellow State Senators Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Steven Bradford (D- Gardena) at the State Capitol to call for a major investment to fund clean-fuel school buses, transit vehicles and commercial medium and heavy duty trucks and move toward a diesel free California by 2030.
“As a pediatrician, I see children with asthma and other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases which are caused or exacerbated by exposure from pollutants in the air they breathe,” said Dr. Richard Pan, State Senator representing the Sacramento region. “With the deployment of the largest fleet of electric buses in the country by Twin Rivers Unified School District in my Senate district, students will be exposed to fewer pollutants riding to and from school, and we need to increase funding in this clean technology so all Californians will benefit.”
The Senators spoke in front of nine clean energy trucks and buses on the Capitol East Lawn at CALSTART’s Clean Truck and Bus Day. The vehicles included a brand new all-electric school bus from Twin Rivers Unified School District, one of 29 zero-emission school buses in the Sacramento area funded through the Cap and Trade program.
The group of Legislators is specifically calling for nearly $1 billion in Cap and Trade and other revenues to be invested in the retrofit and/or replacement of dirty diesel-fueled vehicles through programs such as the California Clean Truck and Bus Program created by Senate Bill 1204 (Lara, 2014), the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP), and the Carl Moyer Air Quality Standards Attainment Program extended by AB 8 (Skinner/Perea, 2013).
While diesel-fueled trucks and buses make up just 3% of the vehicles on California roads they produce 23% of transportation related greenhouse gas emissions and the majority of unhealthy air polluting emissions.
Increased funding to replace and/or retrofit diesel-fueled buses and medium and heavy duty commercial trucks would provide high-paying, clean energy jobs in California at such California-located clean bus manufacturers as Complete Coach Works, Proterra, Motiv and BYD Motors.
The California Legislature voted in July to reauthorize the state’s landmark Cap and Trade program under AB398, which will generate hundreds of millions of dollars for projects that reduce air pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions. The Legislature must approve an expenditure plan, and mobile sources such as trucks and buses are a priority for Cap and Trade funds.
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