For much of the year, we’ve had supply chain issues. They seem to be evening out a bit, but it’s still far from an ideal situation.
Much of the problem lies in transporting goods from Asia to consumers’ doorsteps. Those goods tend to go through the busiest ports on the West Coast. In fact, the two busiest ports in the US are both in California.
Luckily, we can trust California to step up and do what they can to ease the pressures on the supply chain, right?
Do you remember way back in November when we were teetering on the edge of running out of diesel fuel? Thankfully, reduced demand and some temporary increases from our remaining refineries pushed off that crisis for a while. But it was an important reminder that the nation’s supply chain still runs almost entirely on diesel and if we run out, no products will be moving anywhere for a while. Out in California this month they’re looking at a different but related crisis. Instead of a shortage of fuel, the state will be looking at a shortage of trucks. All tractor-trailers and buses made before 2010 are now banned from the state’s highways. That adds up to an estimated 200,000 vehicles, including more than 70,000 tractor-trailers. And you probably don’t need me to tell you why. It’s because of climate change, of course.
The final rule in a set of regulations adopted 15 years ago takes effect this week, banning some 70,000 big rigs from California roads.
A set of clean air regulations implemented by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2008, and later signed into law as Senate Bill 1.
“Diesel exhaust is responsible for 70% of the cancer risk from airborne toxics,” CARB states on its site. “Therefore, by January 1, 2023, nearly all trucks and buses will be required to have 2010 or newer model year engines to reduce particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions.”
The state is generously allowing older big rigs to remain in service if their engines have been replaced with ones manufactured after 2010. Of course, new engines for those rigs cost up to $25,000 and represent the lion’s share of the cost of the rig to begin with. This likely won’t put many trucking companies out of business, but it will definitely drive up their costs significantly. And those increases will be passed on to recipients, leading the price of pretty much everything to go up… again.
Of course, it’s easy to look at this and just shake your head in disbelief, but this isn’t even unusual.
I always say, “To err is human, but to really screw stuff up, you need the government involved.”
The truth is that while many people look to the government for solutions, it’s really pretty terrible at addressing the problems. Part of that is The Law of Unintended Consequences.
That’s basically a law that says every action creates consequences that go beyond the intended effect. They can, in theory, be beneficial but most of the ones we know about aren’t.
In this case, the effort is to combat climate change. They want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by mandating what trucks can be on California roads. Yet the problem is that the unintended consequences may well be a bigger problem while not actually doing anything to minimize pollution as a whole.
We need goods out of those ports. Yet now there are 70,000 trucks that won’t be allowed on California roads.
While we have plenty of other tractor-trailers available, the logistics involved are going to hurt all of us.
You see, now there has to be a certain degree of juggling by the companies to get the right kinds of trucks on the right routes to get the goods at these ports. That’s going to increase the work which, obviously and naturally, will increase the price of transporting those goods.
It’ll do this across the board, so expect to see prices go up accordingly.
And a lot of the remaining trucks aren’t ever going to be available for transporting goods out of California for whatever reason.
All in all, this effort to combat climate change is going to result in screwing over the rest of the nation. Meanwhile, Californians wonder why so many people in other states can’t stand them.
This is why. If you vote for people who hose the rest of us because of state regulations, you’re going to get a certain degree of animosity.
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There's one point about your article with which I disagree.
The consequences aren't unintentional. They may not be the ones that are proclaimed in press releases, but I'm skeptical that there aren't at least SOME coming up with these plans who not only know the kind of trouble it's going to cause, but intending it to force more government control on the populace.