California’s environmental and truck laws to blame for supply chain crisis – social media posts go viral

Share This:

Don Helms, the owner of North Idaho RV Rentals, went viral on social media when he blamed the changes to labor laws and California’s strict environmental laws for causing supply chain woes.

In his Facebook post, Helms said the liberal media is blaming the supply chain crisis on the trucking industry, but the real culprit is California’s liberal trucking laws.

Reports say that the California port situation is caused by a driver shortage. But they don’t mention the California truck ban which allows only 2011 truck models or newer to operate in ports. Another law, called Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), prohibits owner operators from servicing ports in the state.

Truckers in California are not investing in new trucks at present because California also passed a law that will make them illegal in 2035. “The requirement is to purchase electric trucks which do not exist,” Helms wrote.

Helms is essentially saying that California has created its own problems with those laws.

California governor suspends weight limits on trucks

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order that suspended weight limits on trucks servicing California’s ports. In a press release, the executive formalized the state agencies’ partnership with the Biden administration and their efforts to address the supply chain challenges. Newsom also directed state agencies to develop longer-term proposals that support port operations and goods movement. (Related: Shipping costs to the US surge as supply chain crisis continues to accelerate.)

The order builds on the efforts of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to ease supply chain issues by engaging in the diverse network of stakeholders along the supply chain to discuss challenges and solutions.

“California’s ports are critical to our local, state and national economies and the state is taking action to support goods movement in the face of global disruptions. My administration will continue to work with federal, state, labor and industry partners on innovative solutions to tackle immediate challenges while also bringing our distribution processes into the 21st century,” Newsom said.

The order comes after hundreds of cargo ships got stuck off the coast of California. As many as 200,000 containers are still sitting at sea.

Newsom’s executive order directs the state to identify state-owned and non-state sites that could be available to address short-term storage needs. It can also temporarily lift limitations on how much cargo trucks can carry, which could have a similar effect to allowing more trucks to service ports in the state. Further, it can “identify priority freight routes to be considered for a temporary exemption to current gross vehicle weight limits.”

If Newsom permanently cancels all California-specific restrictions and workplace rules, it might affect trucks servicing major ports. Even though some of the rules have not been applied yet, the prospect of more red tape and higher costs would be enough to drive large numbers of truck drivers out of California.

Experts say that it’s tough to nail down any one specific reason for nationwide supply chain issues. However, they believe that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks at manufacturing plants, rising labor and logistics costs and supply and staffing shortages are all contributing to the problem.

“Overall, American supply chains are very stressed right now. In my experience, inquiring about the root causes of pandemic-era supply chain failures is kind of like a Rorschach test,” said David Correll, co-director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s FreightLab.

Read more about the ongoing supply chain crisis at

Sources include:

Share This: