Environmental group launches clean transportation push

Source: By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, November 30, 2020

The Environmental Defense Fund today launched a national campaign to rally support for 100% clean electric power and clean transportation under the Biden administration and the new Congress.

The “Power Up, America” campaign kicked off with a six-figure digital and television ad buy in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Ohio.

The 15-second spot shows workers in auto factories building electric cars and trucks, tying climate action to well-paying jobs.

One overarching goal of the campaign is for the United States to reach 100% clean electric power by 2035 — a goal already endorsed by President-elect Joe Biden.

Regarding transportation, EDF is calling for all new cars to emit zero carbon dioxide by 2035, and all new trucks and buses to be zero emissions by 2040.

While Biden is expected to set ambitious new clean car standards, he has not set a date for phasing out sales of gas-powered vehicles nationwide (Climatewire, Nov. 30).

“President-elect Biden and the new Congress have a historic chance to boost the economy while making our communities healthier and building a more secure future for our children,” Derek Walker, vice president of U.S. climate at EDF, said in a statement.

“Transitioning to clean transportation and clean energy are popular across the board — and so are the jobs and clean air benefits that come with them,” Walker said.

“Trucks, buses, cars and power plants are the largest sources of climate pollution in America, and we can create millions of jobs and reduce air pollution in frontline communities if we work together on bold, common sense solutions,” he added.

Walker was referring to the fact that the transportation sector is the country’s largest source of greenhouse gases, accounting for 28% of all carbon pollution.

The power sector is the second-biggest source of planet-warming emissions, as coal power has been replaced by a glut of cheaper natural gas and renewable energy.

To decarbonize both sectors, EDF is pushing for investments in U.S. manufacturing, tax credits, grants and other policies that it says would create more than 1 million jobs.