California's Transition From Diesel To Electric School Buses Is Stalled

Apr 30, 2019

This electric school bus was delivered to a district in Minnesota. A California bill to speed the transition from diesel to electric school buses is stalled in the Legislature.

The idea of phasing out California's 25-thousand polluting diesel school buses will have to wait another year before it could become law in California. Capital Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports.

There are very few electric school buses in the state and diesel school buses emit around 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gases ever year nationally.

San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu's bill to help begin to phase them out was recently tabled until 2020 for revision. Chiu's reason for authoring the bill is personal.

 "As someone who is the father of a three-year-old I am not looking forward to the day when he might have to get onto a school bus that is spewing dirty fumes into his chest.”

The now two-year bill would create a path for school districts to work with utilities and state agencies to figure out how to finance the transition.

Even though the legislation is on hold, the California Energy Commission reported last year there's more than $90 million in funds available for replacing polluting buses.

In Sacramento, I’m Ezra David Romero.