The Climate Crisis Urgency
The transportation sector is the number one contributor to climate change in the United States. Cars and light-duty vehicles make up more than 20% of all U.S. gas emissions and 45% of all U.S. oil consumption. Vehicle pollution accelerates climate change and contributes to health conditions caused by poor air quality, which disproportionately impact low-income and communities of color.
A study from Harvard University, in collaboration with universities in England, found that world-wide one in five premature deaths can be attributed to fossil fuel air pollution. According to this new research, over 350,000 people in the United States died in 2018 from fossil fuel air pollution prematurely — numbers three times higher than previously suggested by other studies.
Transportation accounts for nearly one-third of America’s carbon output. Light duty vehicles (LDVs) account for 59% of transportation greenhouse gas emissions. Elected Officials to Protect America applauds the Biden-Harris administration’s decision to set stronger clean car standards through 2026, and encourages the administration to take the next step in implementing long-term standards to reach a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles by 2030.
Even with the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) unprecedented $370 billion clean energy investments in our security, health, and prosperity, we still have a ways to go to meet the 50% emission reduction goal by 2030 that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we must in order to avoid extreme weather and climate disasters becoming the norm. To reach that goal we need to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy.
We must transition to using clean transportation before it’s too late.
EOPA is asking to strengthen existing vehicle emission standards, and completely phase in 100% percent zero-emissions vehicles.
Accelerate Clean Transportation
The strategic expansion and development of the electric vehicle industry has the potential to create 150,000 new jobs. These jobs are not isolated to certain localities; more than 1,200 facilities in 48 states make components and materials that contribute to the manufacturing of clean cars.
As oil prices have reached all-time highs, we’ve witnessed how dependence on fossil fuels is costly for the entire world. OPEC has taken advantage of the war in Ukraine and inflation to make prices at the pump skyrocket. We need energy independence from fossil fuels to protect American’s from outrageous price gouging.
Transition to EVs underway
The Biden administration has done significant ground work to help the transition to EVs. In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, there is $7.5 billion to help accelerate EV adoption by building a nationwide network of 500,000 EV charging stations. By 2030 a convenient national charging network that promises equitable access to rural drivers and overburdened and underserved communities will be created. With increased charging availability the stage is set for more EV use. More than $7 billion has also been set aside for investments in battery manufacturing, materials, and recycling to drive down EV costs, increase sustainability, and build the batteries that will power future vehicles in the United States.
Our goal is to electrify our nation’s transportation system with large-scale public funding and national electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to transition off of a fossil fuel transportation system to one using clean renewable energy. While the Biden administration has taken big steps towards this goal – it still isn’t enough to avert the most devastating effects of the climate crisis.
EOPA’s work has already built a clean vehicle coalition in New York and New Jersey.
Climate Emergency Tour
We will begin a nationwide EV tour on the East Coast covering eight states and focusing on the need for electric vehicles on our road to a clean energy economy.
We will highlight why the EPA’s vehicle standards must be updated and that offshore wind is essential to feed enough electrical power to the grid so we all can eventually drive electric vehicles.
After the northeastern tour, led by veterans who are lawmakers, we will educate, train, and organize officials, media, and the public in 32 cities across the country.
Offshore wind and Clean Transportation
Offshore wind has the potential to provide more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of electric energy in the United States — at least two times the present generation of the entire U.S. electric grid, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate. The sheer size of the resource illustrates the critical contribution that offshore wind can make toward an energy system powered by 100% clean renewable energy.
We need offshore wind to be able to power the millions of electric vehicles that are destined to replace antiquated fossil fuel vehicles.
EOPA has letters for New York, New Jersey and California signed by elected officials in their respective states backing responsible offshore wind development. Learn more here