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Nebraska is suing California over its electric vehicle transportation requirement

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska is moving forward with lawsuits against California and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Attorney General Mike Hilgers said if electric vehicle transportation regulations are not stopped, Nebraskans will pay the price.

California regulations require trucking companies doing business in the state to phase out diesel trucks and transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

According to Hilgers, about 30% of U.S. imports arrive in California.

He said this regulation would be far too costly for consumers.

“These things don’t have the same reach; They can’t hold the same payload capacity,” Hilgers said. “We know that these costs would be passed on to customers. It would have a devastating impact on Nebraska businesses and customers.”

The EPA is also introducing strict emissions standards.

Nebraska is leading the lawsuits in several states, 23 others are joining the EPA lawsuit and 16 others are supporting the effort against California.

Governor Jim Pillen supports the lawsuits.

“We feed the world, we save the planet,” Pillen said. “The ports all over California – are you telling us we can’t get our product into the ports? It’s unbelievable.”

Local trucking companies said switching to electric trucks would be incredibly expensive.

The price of a zero-emission truck could be two to three times that of a diesel truck.

And drivers wouldn't be able to drive nearly as far without having to stop and charge the battery.

Truck driver Craig Monroe said he would lose a good portion of his salary.

“If I could only walk 200 miles a day, I couldn’t do this job unless I was paid three times as much as they are,” he said.

Typically, Monroe drives about eight to nine hours, covering about 600 miles. And when he needs to refuel, it only takes a few minutes.

But with current electric trucks, he said, he would have to stop about every 250 miles and charge the truck for hours.

Many involved in the lawsuits said they are not opposed to reducing emissions, but believe it is an unrealistic path.

Anna Harden

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