Skip to comments.Yes to cleaner air but at what cost?
Posted on 12/04/2008 10:02:12 AM PST by NormsRevenge
As the owner of a small dump truck business based in Dixon, I was trying to do my part to clean the air we all breathe by replacing my outdated truck with a cleaner model.
Because the California Air Resources Board (ARB) is set to vote on a new regulation this December targeting diesel vehicles I wanted to be one step ahead. The proposed rule would impact the almost 1 million trucks and buses used to transport goods and people on Californias roads, highways and farms - including my dump trucks.
Starting in 2010, this proposal would require every diesel truck and bus operating in California today (which according to the ARB includes those transiting California roadways from other states and countries) to be replaced or retrofitted. The ARB estimates the cost of this regulation to be more than $5.5 billion.
In order to get ahead of the curve and start cleaning my fleet, we purchased a 2007 model-year truck. But in my line of work, were not just talking about going down to the local dealership and picking out a shiny new F-150. Dump trucks are built to last upwards of 20 years and typically cost well over $150,000. We were able to secure $208,000 in financing for the new, cleaner truck through one of the largest equipment financiers in the nation.
What has changed since I bought my truck? Californias diesel truck and bus owners are facing one of the worst economic climates in decades. With the real estate market crashing and construction falling with it, these days my trucks are parked. Were lucky to work a few days out of the entire month. Like so many business owners in todays economy, my business is just barely staying afloat. And Im not alone. Almost 3,000 trucking companies across the United States have declared bankruptcy so far this year.
In addition, many of us are also working to comply with numerous other regulations and laws recently passed by the ARB, the Legislature and other regulatory agencies.
And what about my new, clean dump truck, the one that was going to help my firm start to comply with the impending ARB regulations? As a result of the economic crisis, I was forced into voluntary repossession of the truck by the lender. To make things worse, the financier is now saying I owe upwards of $225,000. That would be $17,000 more than I financed. My once-perfect credit score is now shot, and soon I will have to file bankruptcy. Ill be lucky to keep my house.
While the ARB and a recent Sacramento Bee editorial continue to highlight grants and bond money that is supposedly available to fleet owners to help them replace or retrofit their equipment, they fail to take into account that many financing options for small businesses to access the required matching funds have dried up entirely.
Californias diesel truck and bus owners are committed to improving Californias air quality and we recognize that we must do our part to achieve significant emission reductions. But in order for the regulations to achieve the goal of cleaner air, without putting more small businesses like mine into bankruptcy, we must find common ground.
We hope that this discussion with the ARB includes a wide range of options to help get more financial resources into the system quickly and more flexibility for fleet owners to comply with the regulation.
Before this is implemented, please let me move out of California. If California left the United States, all our problems could, possibly, be solved. Doesn’t this country have enough to worry about?
‘We hope that this discussion with the ARB includes a wide range of options to help get more financial resources into the system quickly and more flexibility for fleet owners to comply with the regulation.’
As an owner of a small fleet of Class 8 vehicles myself, we can ‘hope’.
But don’t count on it. Already planning my escape route!
There are fanatics and there facts and sometime they collide and it ain’t pretty.
First off, it’s more about making money for these crooks. Before you think I am crazy let me give you a few examples of what has happened in my line of business and these “so called” environmentalists.
1)A mid size chemical company about 15 miles from us was told they needed to reduce emissions in their plant to one part per trillion. Meaning for every trillion good air particles released by this plant only one bad one could pass. The engineering dept thought they were joking, however the EPA was not. The EPA thinks “just because they could measure it, it can be achieved”. Anyway, the cost to do this was in the millions and the company said they decided to move out of the country. The EPA came back and said “OK, maybe we can figure out a better way...”?A change of heart? what, all of the sudden the “one per trillion” was to be negotiated? The company already made the decision, closed down and 230 people lost their jobs.Due to the power hungry, bullying EPA....for what?
2) The makers of Advil in Hammonton, NJ wanted to expand their plant creating another 1200 or so jobs. The EPA said “no, there are tree frogs and we can not disturb them..” “Ok”, the company said “we’ll get back to you”. They not only canceled the expansion but moved the plant elsewhere...2200 people (total including the 1200 who would have been hired) lost jobs. All the vendors and machine shops closed up. However, the EPA had the “gall” when they found out to say “we can work around the tree frogs...” The makers of Advil basically said “too late, decision made”!
See, these morons don’t care about the environment or much of anything. All they care about is abusing power and forcing a market that benefits them and their crooked friends!!
No need to read any further, BS is BS no matter who is putting it out.
I work for a company making trucks like that, and the next one we sell for the $200,000+ this dimbulb claims to have paid will be the first one.
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