Dirty diesel powered school buses carry hundreds of thousands of students to school every day in Oregon.

Diesel is a known carcinogen and is known to cause cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. For children with growing lungs, diesel exhaust is linked to impaired lung growth. While most students are getting on a diesel powered bus, a number of students started to ride electric school buses when they returned to school in person this fall. These districts have recognized that investments in electric school buses can improve student health, reduce climate causing emissions, and reduce maintenance.

The great news is that on Nov. 17, the Environmental Quality Commission voted to pass the Clean Truck Rules, which will accelerate the supply of zero-emission medium and heavy duty trucks like school buses as well as clean up new trucks. These clean truck rules will help school districts by helping provide more vehicles for districts to purchase and to shift the development and availability of these buses across manufactures.

Electrifying our school buses that take kids to school helps protect young lungs from harmful diesel pollution while reducing carbon pollution. These Clean truck rules will help Oregon improve public health for all and help supply the necessary transition for electric school buses that we need for all kids.

Neil Baunsgard

electric mobility program manager for the Environmental Center

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