A California railway transportation rule that’s on the wrong track

By Jessica Towley
The Hanford Sentinel
June 12, 2024
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Industry experts say California’s attempt to mandate zero-emissions freight trains could create supply-chain chaos and derail the U.S. economy. The California Air Resources Board wants the Environmental Protection Agency to grant permission to move ahead with a rule requiring all train engines in operation as of 2035 to be zero-emission technology, such as electric or hydrogen fuel cells. The rule would phase out locomotives older than 23 years, which is a far shorter lifespan than current industry standards. An unusual coalition of union and rail industry interests is coming together to stop this effort in its tracks. Their argument? That the technology to manufacture zero-emissions locomotives barely exists. …Given the interstate nature of freight rail, the rule would have national implications. …Six major trade associations representing paper manufacturers, food and beverage companies, consumer brands, and coal companies, highlighted the negative economic effect the rule would have on members and consumers.

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