In a big step toward a greener future, Governor Gavin Newsom of California is promoting environmentally friendly energy policies in his administration. While its efforts were initially limited to the Golden State, the recent decision by the Biden administration to allow California’s climate rules to continue marks a significant change for the rest of the country.
One of the latest policies to receive approval is a regulation requiring railroad operators to phase out diesel locomotives and replace them with zero-emission alternatives. The California Air Resources Board approved this policy, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adjusted its rules to allow local locomotive regulations to apply in California.
This new regulation establishes a deadline of 2029 for locomotives 23 years old or older to cease operation in the state. Additionally, all passenger trains built in 2030 or later and freight trains built in 2035 or later must use zero-emissions technology while in California. This forward-thinking approach will undoubtedly affect trains that cross state lines and may lead to similar initiatives in other states.
The Biden administration’s continued support for California’s green policy initiatives signals a growing commitment to combating climate change. In March, Governor Newsom praised the EPA’s decision to grant a special permit allowing the enforcement of heavy-duty truck emission standards in the state. These standards require truck manufacturers to accelerate the production of zero-emission vehicles to meet additional manufacturing standards by 2035.
By adopting these innovative policies, California is leading the way in fighting air pollution and protecting public health. Governor Newsom’s vision to end auto tailpipe emissions last year is just the beginning. Now, with the support of the federal government, the state’s zero-emissions revolution is expanding to freight trucks and locomotives.
With California’s success, other states and countries are undoubtedly looking to follow suit and join the global movement toward a cleaner, more sustainable future.