Oregon’s Can’t-Miss Chance to Lead on Clean Trucks Is Here

This year, Oregon has the can't-miss opportunity to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks and Heavy-Duty Omnibus rules. In doing so, Oregon will decrease reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to clean energy in the transportation sector to protect hearts and lungs, benefit the climate, and boost the economy.


Artist: Andrew Schubert, Instagram

Brielle Stander is a contributing author for this blog.


Oregon is taking big strides toward its climate and clean air goals by proposing to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule and the Heavy-Duty Omnibus (HDO) rule at this year’s final Environmental Quality Commission hearing on November 12, 2021. The ACT rule requires manufacturers to produce an increasing number of clean, zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks beginning in model year 2025. Meanwhile, the HDO rule, among other things, imposes tough new air pollution standards on new heavy-duty vehicles.

From port cities like Portland to corridor towns along Interstate 5, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon. Four of Oregon’s top leading causes of death—heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and cancer—are connected to increased exposure to air pollution exacerbated by transportation emissions. Notably, low-income communities and communities of color are at a disproportionate risk nationwide and in Oregon to live, work, and go to school in areas of increased exposure to pollution. For example, in Oregon, African Americans, American Indians, and Alaska Natives have a higher prevalence of heart attacks than other racial and ethnic groups. At the same time, households with incomes below $20,000 are nearly three times more likely to have a heart attack than those over $50,000.

By adopting these rules, Oregon will join a handful of states, including Washington and California, leading the nation in protecting the climate and their citizen’s air. This year, Oregon must act swiftly to adopt the ACT and HDO rules and join other states in calling for robust national truck standards to be enacted by the U.S. EPA. Decreasing reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to clean energy in the transportation sector protects hearts and lungs, benefits the climate, and is good for the bottom line.


Credit: Health Outcome Costs in Oregon. Photo Credit: Oregon Environmental Council

Boosting the Clean Energy Economy in the Beaver State

A recent independent consultant report by M.J. Bradley & Associates on behalf of NRDC and the Union of Concerned Scientists found that Oregon could realize health savings of over $1.8 billion by 2050 by adopting the ACT and HDO rules. Projected public health benefits include avoiding nearly 84,000 respiratory illnesses, 160 premature deaths, and 120 hospital admissions and emergency room visits.

The M.J. Bradley & Associates report also found that, on average, zero-emission trucks in Oregon can create over $76,000 in discounted fuel and maintenance cost savings over their lifetime. Oregon's fleet owners can expect to save more than $1 billion annually by shifting to zero-emission vehicles.

But it’s not just truck fleets that will benefit. More vehicles plugging in to charge means greater electric grid utilization, driving down costs for everyone and likely saving household utility customers $70 annually and commercial customers $410 per year on electricity bills.

In addition to direct fleet savings, Oregon can expect to attract nearly $87 million annually through 2050 in public charging infrastructure investments to support electric trucks. For companies like Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), headquartered in Portland, Oregon, these rules are an opportunity to accelerate and promote a clean vehicle transition. As DTNA’s CEO & President Roger Nielsen said, “As the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, we can accelerate this shift and are excited to address, holistically, the complete EV ecosystem.”

Douse the Flames and Ramp Up Action

Credit: Wildland Firefighter on the Bootleg Fire near Klamath, OR Photo Credit: U.S. Forest Service

This summer, one of the nation's largest fires, the Bootleg Fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, raged through Oregon, scorching a fiery pall across the country. Climate-related disasters, including increasingly intense and frequent wildfires—as well as the anxiety, fear, and distress associated with climate change’s uncertainty—are shattering people's lives and livelihoods. By opting into the ACT and HDO rules, Oregon can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses by 50 million metric tons, amounting to around $8.1 billion in societal savings from avoiding the adverse effects of climate change by 2050, according to the M.J. Bradley &Associates Report.

Given what’s at stake and clean truck rules’ substantial public health, economic, and climate benefits, Oregon can’t afford to delay and must finalize the ACT and HDO rules this year.


Artist: Andrew Schubert, Instagram

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