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Clean Energy Applauds California Legislation to Accelerate Natural Gas Adoption

Signed on September 20 by Governor Jerry Brown, Bill 2061 (D-Frazier) will increase the gross vehicle weight limit for diesel-alternative trucks to 82,000 pounds and will support a more rapid adoption of clean heavy-duty trucks powered by natural gas.

AB 2061 removes a critical barrier to the improvement of air quality in disadvantaged communities that are impacted by polluting diesel trucks, such as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, enabling the use of cleaner fuels in heavy-duty vehicles.

“Providing the weight allowance enables fleets to operate natural gas and other alternative technology trucks without being at a disadvantage to diesel trucks,” said Greg Roche, vice president, Clean Energy Fuel Corp. “Many trucking applications operate under the weight limitations set by state and federal laws. Enabling natural gas trucks to operate with the same payload as a diesel truck is good for trucking economics and good for the environment.

The transportation sector is responsible for about 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more than 80 percent of the state’s NOx, or smog-forming emissions.

Making the switch from diesel to natural gas trucks, especially near-zero trucks fueled by RNG is vital to achieving the state’s GHG reduction goals and cleaning the air around California’s transportation corridors. Near-zero engines are certified by the EPA and California Air Resource Board (CARB) to have 90 percent lower emissions of smog-forming NOx than today’s heavy-duty engine standard. Clean Energy says RNG reduces climate pollutants compared to diesel by 70 percent to even over 100 percent depending on the renewable energy source.