On this Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency is celebrating its new emissions standard for heavy-duty trucks as a triumph for the environment.

The irony is, this policy will do nothing for our planet, but it will inflict severe economic damage on hardworking Americans.

The EPA’s latest rule, while not explicitly mandating production of electric-powered trucks, projects a potential compliance pathway requiring 50% of all new heavy-duty vehicles to be emission-free by 2032. This leaves truck manufacturers with two primary options: electric- or hydrogen-powered trucks.

Although hydrogen combustion emits only water and no carbon dioxide, both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks come with significant drawbacks compared to their diesel counterparts.

These alternative-fuel vehicles are three times more expensive than the more reliable diesel-powered trucks. Moreover, while a diesel rig easily may cover 1,500 miles on a single tank, a hydrogen-powered truck may travel only a third of that distance, and an electric version is limited to a mere tenth of that range.

During a recent visit to the battleground state of Wisconsin, I spoke with Michael Cops, a carpenter working for a family-owned business that specializes in building modular home additions to bring families together and promote family living.

Cops and his colleagues rely on heavy-duty trucks to transport materials and complete their projects, often driving long distances across the state. He expressed his concerns about the practicality of electric trucks.

“Our trucks travel way more miles than the average person’s car does, and they take a beating,” Cops said.

Another problem, he explained, is the longer service times for repairing electric vehicles. “It would really hurt the business to wait weeks on a vehicle,” he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule also fails to consider the challenges faced by states that have harsh winters. Electric vehicles perform worse in cold weather, with reduced battery life and longer charging times.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a snowstorm in early April brought nearly a foot of snow and 50-mph winds to Cops’ hometown, knocking out power for nearly 100,000 residents. Businesses depending on a fleet of electric trucks would be left stranded, unable to operate and serve customers, including with snowplows and salt trucks.

Furthermore, the lack of charging infrastructure in Wisconsin poses a significant challenge. “I’m hauling a trailer a lot of the time,” Cops said, “and that would basically cut my mileage in half.”

This reduced efficiency not only would hurt businesses like Mike Cops’ but also essential services that rely on heavy-duty vehicles, such as garbage collection trucks, cement trucks, and snowplows.

The EPA claims that its new standard is necessary to reduce carbon emissions, yet medium and heavy-duty trucks account for less than 7% of America’s carbon emissions (and less than 1% of the world’s emissions). Even if the United States were to completely abolish fossil fuels this year, the effect on global temperatures would be minimal, with a projected temperature change of less than 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

As new trucks become less practical due to government’s stringent emission standards, businesses will be incentivized to continue driving older, less safe vehicles. The EPA rule also will contribute to inflation by raising the cost of everything delivered by truck.

This Earth Day, as the EPA celebrates this revised policy as a victory, hardworking Americans such as Michael Cops are left wondering how they will navigate the challenges posed by impractical and costly government mandates.