New Docs Reveal Truck Makers’ Coordinated Campaign Against Climate Plan

Industry lobbying lawmakers in multiple states against the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule

December 06 2022

The US truck manufacturing sector is directly lobbying lawmakers across multiple states as part of a coordinated campaign against the adoption of the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule, new research by climate think tank InfluenceMap shows.

It also shows how the industry’s key industry association - the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) – is pushing to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from allowing California to adopt the plan.

The ACT rule, first passed by California, would mandate an increasing percentage of medium and heavy duty vehicle sales be zero emissions vehicles.

The analysis draws on publicly-available evidence as well as thousands of pages of previously unseen documents obtained via Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests across 11 states that have either adopted the ACT rule or have signaled their intention to do so. (Links to key state-by-state evidence at the end of press release)

The report shows:

• The EMA has spearheaded the campaign against the ACT rule, by directly lobbying policymakers in at least eight states: California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington.

Volvo, Daimler Truck, Volkswagen (Navistar) and PACCAR each lobbied to oppose the adoption of the ACT rule in at least three states, according to FOIA documents.

Ford and General Motors appear to have been less directly engaged in lobbying on the policy, yet remain members of the EMA.

• At a federal level, Volvo, Daimler Truck, Volkswagen (Navistar), PACCAR and the EMA have opposed the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to tighten existing “Phase 2” emissions standards.

The report also details how the industry has deployed a climate-positive PR campaign, while at the same time lobbying against stricter emissions regulations. This includes a ‘Clean Truck Facts’ website - operated by the EMA - which pushes back against more stringent federal tailpipe emission rules.

A separate campaign – ‘Partners for a Zero Emission Vehicle Future’ – declares that it supports the rollout of zero emissions trucks, but warns other states against adopting the ACT rule. Daimler Truck, Volvo, PACCAR, Navistar (a Volkswagen subsidiary) are founding members of this group and have used it to lobby state lawmakers.

In the US, the transport sector accounts for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions – a quarter of which was generated by medium and heavy duty vehicles in 2020. In November 2022, the US signed a global agreement committing to 100% new zero-emission medium and heavy-duty sales by 2040.

InfluenceMap Analyst Kalina Dmitriew said: “By analyzing hundreds of documents obtained through freedom of information requests, we’ve been able to piece together the industry’s coordinated strategy to undermine the Advanced Clean Truck rule and its adoption in various parts of the country.

“This behind-the-scenes lobbying effort direct to state lawmakers appears to run contrary to the industry’s public pro-climate PR strategy.

“The truck manufacturing industry’s negative lobbying is undermining efforts to decarbonize the sector and poses a major risk to US climate targets – including the 2040 goal to only sell zero-emissions trucks.”

Click here for the full report.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Simon Cullen, Communications Manager, InfluenceMap (London) E: simon.cullen {@}