Farmers, Truckers Warn Calif. Emissions Mandates Will Cause ‘Catastrophic’ Supply Chain Crisis

Craig Bannister | April 12, 2024
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A federal court’s ruling Tuesday that California can set independently set zero-emissions standards portends a “catastrophic” supply chain crisis and lost jobs, the nation’s farmers and truckers are warning.

The court decision ruled against a 17-state lawsuit against California’s Biden Administration waiver allowing it to set its own emissions standards. California has been hit with multiple lawsuits, including one by the California Trucking Association.

"So, if this mandate comes in, if they go forward with this nonsense, we’re going to be the supply chain crisis on steroids," Ohio trucker Monte Wiederhold told Fox & Friends First in an interview on Friday:

"We're going to be in some Third World country type status to where you're going to go to the store or stand in line, and the shelves are empty because it's what's going to happen."

The overwhelming cost of complying with zero emissions standards, especially if they’re adopted by other states, will drive small fleets like his – which comprise 96% of the trucking industry – out of business, Wiederhold said:

"Obviously, this thing is going to cost untold millions, billions of dollars that we have no way that we’re going to pay for.”

Indeed, full electrification of the U.S. commercial truck fleet would require nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure investment alone, a new study released by the Clean Freight Coalition reveals.

The nation’s supply chain would be further devastated by a rule approved by the California Air Quality Control Board (CARB) requiring railroads to prematurely retire 25,000 diesel-powered trains and replace them with zero-emission trains.

“Allowing a single state to impose onerous mandates on a national system would have a ripple effect across the supply chain, creating inefficiencies and cost increases,” Washington Farm Bureau Federation President Rosella Mosby warned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan, The Center Square reported Thursday.

By bankrupting railroads and forcing them to go out of business, California’s mandate would harm farmers, Mosby explained:

“CARB officials have already recognized that compliance costs would cause many short line railroads to go out of business.

“If this scenario were to be realized, Washington farmers and ranchers would have no choice but to utilize fewer options at a greater cost and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Most states, including Washington do not have the electric infrastructure to meet current mandate.”