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Oregon trucking industry in need of better environmental incentives, state report says

California has already started banning older diesel engines, which has raised concerns that companies will sell their old trucks into Oregon.
Cassandra Profita
/
EarthFix
The report, released jointly by The Oregon Departments of Environmental Quality and Transportation, concerns medium and heavy-sector vehicles. This includes buses, trucks, tractors and some vans.

Oregon must do more to help its trucking industry to reduce its carbon footprint, according to a new state report.

Trucks, vans and buses produce a disproportionate amount of Oregon’s carbon emissions. In response, the state government is urging owners to switch to electric or hydrogen powered vehicles.

However, Morgan Schafer with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said few have transitioned so far, due to high up-front costs and a lack of charging stations.

Now, the DEQ and the Oregon Department of Transportation are advising lawmakers to create more financial incentives for companies to develop infrastructure and purchase new vehicle fleets.

Schafer said the state must start now to reach its emission targets by 2035.

“We need to be thinking now about 10 years from now, because that's what our fleet owners need. They need that time.”

Schafer said state lawmakers will need to locate long-term funding for these ideas to move forward.

Nathan Wilk is a freelance reporter and former reporting intern. He began in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon. He is a senior at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.