Show Up and Represent Propane in Riverside or Sacramento on June 27th!

The California Air Resources Board plans to vote on June 27th to eliminate the usage of propane-powered forklifts in the state, with sales restrictions beginning as soon as 2026. A link to the hearing notice including a regulations summary, can be found here. In addition, WPGA have shared an extensive list of signatories, news coverage, and concerns regarding the rulemaking that can be found here.

The hearing will begin at 9 AM on Thursday, June 27th. WPGA is asking its members and those concerned about the rulemaking to show up to the Riverside CARB auditorium to speak up on behalf of propane and visibly represent the industry. Those in Northern California can stop by the Sacramento CARB headquarters as well to show their support. There will be a virtual attendance option for those unable to attend in person.

Krysta Wanner will be at the Riverside meeting and Colin Sueyres in Sacramento to assist on-site supports from WPGA. If your company is sending staff to either locations, please notify either Krysta or Colin by emailing names by location (Riverside or Sacramento).

For those attending in Riverside, parking is extremely limited, so we suggest carpooling or coordinating on parking nearby the hearing location. We also suggest you arrive 30 minutes early to securing parking and a seat inside. And if you plan to stay overnight, here are a few hotels within 3 miles of the hearing location:

Should you have questions about attending the Board Hearing or required further information, please contact Krysta Wanner.

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The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has begun a rulemaking that would eliminate combustion forklifts across California. The rule, which is set to be voted upon on June 27, 2024, would mandate that all Class IV (cushion tire) and the majority of Class V (pneumatic tire) combustion forklifts be removed from existing fleets and replaced by battery-electric replacements.

WPGA has released an economic impact report (full report here, summary presentation here) that found that the CARB regulation to eliminate internal combustion engine (ICE) forklifts will cost California forklift owners and operators up to $27 billion. This includes increased costs and direct impacts to local communities, small businesses, food banks and nonprofits, state agencies, and local governments, throughout the state at a time of a large state budget deficit. While some costs and impacts can be anticipated with the passage of this rule, there are unintended consequences that have not been accounted for that would have a rippling economic effect across the state.

See just how badly this rule is Costly, Infeasible, and Flawed.

Some key findings from the report include:

  • CARB vastly underestimated the number of forklifts that will impacted by the rule
    • CARB estimates 95,000 forklifts will be affected when in reality 220,000 (more than half of all forklifts in the state) will be impacted.
  • $10 billion will be spent on ICE forklift replacements
    • Forklift owners will be required to replace ICE forklifts even if they are fully functional.
    • Utilization loss caused by the proposed regulation will reach approximately $4.6 billion by 2038.
  • By 2038, forklift battery costs will exceed $2.8 billion
  • Charging stations will costs will exceed $6.3 billion to implement
    • This cost does not factor in the cost of building power supply upgrades or infrastructure upgrades for the generation, transmission and delivery of electricity.
  • Costs to state government amount to $33 million by 2038
    • The State of California, not including the UC and CSU systems, currently owns and operates 581 affected ICE forklifts.

“Throughout the rulemaking process, CARB did not adequately account for the overwhelming costs and impacts associated with its zero-emission forklift proposal,” said Colin Sueyres, President & CEO of the Western Propane Gas Association. “It’s critical that CARB take a hard look at the real-world impact of its proposal and work with small businesses throughout the state who have proposed a cheaper, more feasible, and more effective way to meet the state’s air quality goals. Additionally, local communities and others can’t afford to be hit with unintended consequences not accounted for.”

The total number of battery electric forklifts sold across North America (including the U.S., Canada, Mexico) in 2022 was approximately 225,000. If CARB’s rule goes into effect, the majority of battery electric forklifts being sold in North America would – out of necessity – need to be sold within California just to keep pace with the implementation phase-in of the rule. This also does not address manufacturers’ ability to scale battery electric production in a global marketplace where battery minerals become more coveted, expensive, and scarce.

There is a cheaper, more feasible, and more effective way to meet the state’s air quality goals. An alternative pathway to compliance will ensure the state is meeting its greenhouse gas reduction goals while at the same time ensuring that the goods movement sector in critical industries such as food bank distribution is protected from untenable costs.

For more information on how to get involved or to discuss the findings of the report, please contact Colin Sueyres with WPGA.