A framework is already in place to help make the transition to electric trucks. New Jersey needs to stop making the wrong decisions.

Trucks churning out greenhouse gases

Credit: (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File) File photo: Trucks churning out greenhouse gases


Have you ever been stuck on the road behind a large diesel truck and seen dark, dirty smoke pouring into the air?

Imagine what it’s like to work inside one of those trucks all day long. Or to work in a freight depot with big rigs coming and going all day long. Or to live in one of the communities, like Newark, Elizabeth and Bayonne, where more than 200 trucks drive through residential streets every hour. In these communities, diesel pollution is up to 150 times higher than the level considered safe to breathe, leading to child asthma rates nearly three times higher than the state’s average.

The harmful effects of air pollution are not confined to just a few cities or a few occupations. A recent report from the American Lung Association gave eight of New Jersey’s 21 counties an “F” for air quality, due to high levels of ozone pollution.  Trucks are a major source of nitrogen oxide emissions, a primary cause of high ozone levels.

Better trucks, better air

Fortunately for all of us — and our lungs — there are practical solutions in sight. The entire automotive industry, including heavy trucks, is poised for a major transition to electric vehicles. Here in New Jersey, we have a chance to make history, by becoming one of the first states to adopt California-style Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) regulations.

Read the entire Op-Ed here.