Contact: Noah Barnes, Electrification Coalition
noah@electrification.org, (202) 461-2371

FEBRUARY 6, 2024 – Today, 75 mayors – including the mayors of Bethlehem, Conshohocken, Erie, Pittsburgh, and the boroughs of Hatboro and State College in Pennsylvania – sent a letter urging the Biden administration to finalize the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strongest proposed rule for the GHG Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3 rule (HDV rule).

The HDV rule would accelerate the transition from large internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs), reducing carbon pollution, improving air quality and increasing national security by ending oil’s monopoly on transportation.

The transition to clean heavy-duty vehicles, like trucks and buses, is already well underway, largely due to the increased funding for electric transit and charging infrastructure included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). With support from these historic federal programs, school districts are investing in electric school buses, city and state fleets are transitioning to EVs and retail giants are deploying electric freight and delivery trucks nationwide. The Biden administration has the crucial opportunity to maintain this exciting momentum by supporting the EPA’s strongest proposed HDV emissions standard. The 75 mayors supporting the adoption of this rule see its potential to benefit the communities they are responsible for and our nation as a whole, and urge the Biden administration to follow suit.

“The City of Erie and its port have a rich history of trade and logistics, which play a pivotal role in transporting goods across the Northeast,” said Erie Mayor Joseph V. Schember. “My office and the City of Erie support the EPA’s Proposed Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Rule and believe electric trucking is the future of transportation. Our City of Erie neighborhoods are some of the most underserved and disproportionately affected communities in Erie County, Pennsylvania. That makes this project, which would help to reduce emissions and improve air quality, especially important for our community.”

“It’s important to do all we can to ensure the next generation is able to call Pittsburgh home,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey. “That means safeguarding our environment through forward-thinking use of energy. We have already made great strides in electrification of City of Pittsburgh vehicles, with 88 electric vehicles already in our fleet and 78 electric vehicle chargers. The City of Pittsburgh continues to strive toward the future by supporting the EPA’s Proposed Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Rule and the benefits of heavy-duty electric transportation.”

Pennsylvania has received over $87.3 million in funding for 225 electric school buses as a part of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, including 65 for the Pittsburgh School District. The Philadelphia, William Penn, Laurel Highlands, and New Castle Area School Districts also received significant funding.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released $39.6 million across 16 grant awards for businesses, cities, boroughs, universities, and transit agencies to replace 99 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles with zero-emission substitutes and install over 60 DC fast charging and more than nine Level-2 charging station plugs.

The mayors’ letter follows another letter sent to the White House by over 80 corporate leaders in November, advocating for the same strong standard to be adopted in order to promote economic development, protect American national security and solidify our country’s growing commitment to a clean transportation future.

“Despite Pittsburgh making proactive and critical strides in electrification, it still sees some of the worst metro area air quality in the country,” said Louis Mennel, founder of Pennsylvania-based small business Carbon Compost. “We need a federal standard to transition away from vehicles that emit toxic gas emissions into our communities. Carbon Compost is committed to the sustainable and equitable disposal of food waste throughout Pittsburgh, but we must finalize this rule to ensure that whether it’s composted or not, our waste is transported and disposed of using electric trucks powered by domestically produced, reliable, and cost-efficient energy.”   

“Pennsylvania is a critical trucking corridor for destinations across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic,” said James Noden, CEO and founder of Bright Eyed Solar, located in Lancaster and Emmaus. “However, these heavy polluting trucks release fumes into communities across the state and expose trucking companies and truck owners to high operation and fuel costs. By setting a federal standard transitioning our heavy-duty trucks, we will see better quality air in communities across the Commonwealth and ensure America’s trucking industry is powered using domestically produced, stable, and reliable energy. Bright Eyed Solar is one Pennsylvania company offering power solutions to energize the electric trucks of tomorrow with clean solar power.” 

“Heavy-duty trucks create a disproportionate amount of emissions, particularly in our most marginalized communities, so we must enact the strongest possible emissions standards,” said Electrification Coalition Executive Director Ben Prochazka. “In doing so, we can accelerate freight electrification and finally end oil’s monopoly on freight vehicles. As the world shifts to electric transportation, we cannot fall behind other countries – the time is now. We welcome Pennsylvania’s local leadership joining this effort to set strong standards, protect public health, and reduce our dependence on oil.”

“We have a historic opportunity to accelerate progress towards decarbonizing our transportation sector by supporting the strongest proposed emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles yet,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “We thank the Biden administration for considering our request to help support the heavy-duty vehicle industry in meeting its zero-emissions commitment.”

Read the full letter and recommendations therein.

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About Electrification Coalition: 
The Electrification Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes policies and actions to facilitate the widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) on a mass scale to overcome the economic, public health and national security challenges that stem from America’s dependence on oil. ElectrificationCoalition.org

About Climate Mayors:
Climate Mayors is a bipartisan network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors since 2014, demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. representing 46 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the climate mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. For more information, please visit our website and follow Climate Mayors on X and LinkedIn. For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com.