Press Release

Report: Clean Truck Rules in New Mexico Could Deliver $3.3 Billion in Benefits and Avoid 28,000 Illnesses

Jake Thompson
jthompson@NRDC.org, 301-602-3627

SANTA FE, NM  - New Mexico can generate $3.3 billion in public health, environmental, and economic benefits and avoid more than 28,000 respiratory illnesses by 2050 by transitioning to zero-emission electric trucks, according to a new study evaluating the impact of adopting the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus Low-NOx (HDO) rules, collectively known as the “Clean Truck Rules.”

Adopting the Clean Truck Rules would help New Mexico achieve its climate and clean air objectives and build on past successes, including adopting the Advanced Clean Cars I program.

According to the “New Mexico Clean Trucks Program” study released today, the Clean Truck Rules would reduce fine particulate matter emissions by 76 percent, nitrogen oxides by 91 percent, and greenhouse gases by 45 percent from the on-road truck fleet in 2050 compared to today’s levels. This would lead to a significant reduction in respiratory and cardiovascular health problems, as well as a reduction in premature deaths.

In addition to the environmental and public health benefits, the report found that adopting Clean Truck Rules can lead to significant fuel and maintenance cost savings for trucking companies, lower electric bills for all consumers, and attract over $1.4 billion in investments for in-state infrastructure.

Click here for an E2 factsheet on New Mexico’s economic benefits of adopting the Clean Truck Rules.

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles—which range from delivery vans to garbage trucks to school buses to semi-trucks—have an outsized impact on air pollution. Despite making up only 10 percent of the vehicles on the road in New Mexico, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles contribute to 64 percent of NOx pollution, 58 percent of PM pollution, and 35 percent of transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

The health impacts of this air pollution are severe, including asthma, lung infections, cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, reproductive harm, and even premature deaths. To help address these harms, the ACT rule would require truck manufacturers to produce and sell an increasing number of zero-emission trucks as a share of total sales. In tandem, the HDO rule would require manufacturers to ensure that new fossil fuel trucks that continue to be sold are significantly cleaner.

"The analysis is clear: adopting Clean Truck Rules this year is the right thing to do for the people of New Mexico," said Patricio Portillo, Senior Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council.) "Not only will it improve public health and the environment, but it will also create new job opportunities in the state. It's time for New Mexico to take action and lead the way in clean transportation."

"Frontline communities bear the brunt of diesel truck pollution. Adopting Clean Truck Rules is an essential step towards protecting people and ensuring that all communities can breathe clean air," said Oriana Sandoval, CEO of the Center for Civic Policy. "New Mexico must act this year to join the growing number of states leading the way on this critical issue."

“Transportation is the second most significant emitting sector in New Mexico and medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses carry a disproportionate role in creating this pollution,” said Aaron Kressig, transportation electrification manager for Western Resource Advocates. “But as the ERM report demonstrates, New Mexico adopting these regulations will provide over $400 million of net economic benefits annually by 2050, while also generating high wage-earning job opportunities and prioritizing access to new technology for New Mexicans.”

“Truck and large vehicle emissions impact the health of limited income communities more than others because of their juxtaposition to transportation routes. Adoption of ACT and HDO rules is a critical step in our efforts achieve health and environmental justice,” said Ona Porter, Clean Energy Leader at Prosperity Works.

“Zero-emissions and low-NOx trucks are a win-win for the environment, communities, and businesses in New Mexico and strong regulations are needed to accelerate the market for clean trucks to an appropriate speed,” said Sam Wilson, Senior Vehicles Analyst at Union of Concerned Scientists. “Our analysis shows that these clean trucks regulations would save lives and deliver around $600 million in cumulative health benefits while saving businesses over $250 million through 2050 from lower fuel and maintenance costs.”

“The ACT and HDO rules tie everything together,” said Samantha Kao, climate and energy advocate with Conservation Voters New Mexico. “They will jumpstart electrification of the truck sector as part of the overall electrification of the state’s economy; significantly improve air quality, especially for frontline communities; create jobs as part of the diversification away from unstable oil and gas revenues; significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and continue to demonstrate that a major oil and gas producing state can be a leader in climate action now.”

Susan Nedell, Mountain West Advocate at E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), shares the economic importance of the rules: “The Clean Truck Rules would be a boon for New Mexico’s economy and job market – adding millions to the GDP and creating thousands of high-quality, well-paying jobs within the next twenty years. From small businesses and big fleets to consumers and workers, this rule boosts the economy for all New Mexicans while creating a cleaner and healthier future for the state.”

“Governor Lujan Grisham should act quickly to accelerate truck electrification,” said Travis Madsen, Transportation Program Director at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “Clean trucks will save New Mexicans money, improve our health, and protect our climate. Let’s charge ahead and adopt strong policies without delay. The benefits are ours for the taking.”

“The study confirms that protecting our climate also creates job opportunities and supports a thriving economy,” said Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman. “Clean Truck rules mean healthier air for all New Mexico families to breathe, and a more promising future.”

“These strong yet achievable standards set by the ACT rule will go a long way toward advancing New Mexico’s climate objectives and, just as importantly, improving air quality for its residents. As laid out in New Mexico’s 2021 Climate Strategy, decarbonizing the transportation sector is must. The state has made some early progress to advance its zero-emission ecosystem and adopting these Clean Trucks rules is a practical next step.”, said Alissa Burger, Regional Policy Director, CALSTART, a non-profit working nationally on clean transportation strategies.

This report is an independent analysis conducted by Environmental Resource Management consultancy and sponsored by NRDC and Union of Concerned Scientists. It was released by Conservation Voters New Mexico, Western Resource Advocates, Prosperity Works, Center for Civic Policy, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, E2-Environmental Entrepreneurs, CALSTART, NRDC and UCS. The full report can be found here.

A blog on adopting clean vehicle standards in New Mexico can be found here.

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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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