Today NY Senator Schumer proposed a bold plan to switch completely to clean vehicles, zero emission vehicles, like electric cars. As Schumer notes, “Scientists tell us that to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change, the world needs to be carbon neutral — to have net-zero carbon dioxide emissions — by midcentury. At the moment, we are not remotely on track to meet that target. We need to act urgently and ambitiously, which will require building diverse coalitions of political support.”
The effect of the plan is to phase out polluting vehicles, replacing them zero emission vehicles. Since plenty of people have made similar proposals, what separates this one from those? Schumer claims a broad base of support:
What distinguishes this proposal is not only its scale but also its ability to unite the American environmental movement, the American labor movement and large automakers. It has already earned the support of climate groups like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters; labor unions like the United Automobile Workers and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and car manufacturers like Ford and General Motors.Sen. Schumer
Schumer’s plan relies on “giving a large discount” to purchases of American-made zero emission vehicles. Low-income folks get an even steeper discount than the more well-off among us. He expects the plan will “63 million fewer gas-powered cars on the road by 2030” and put America on a path to a completely zero emission vehicle fleet by 2040.
The plan is not just about switching vehicles, there is a component for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This would be funded by government subsidy as well, with greater subsidies for low-income areas.
The total bill is expected to be $465 billion over 10 years.
The payoff is expected not just from cleaning up the climate, and thereby saving our collective butts from extinction. There of course will be tons of jobs involved with building out this new electric transportation infrastructure.
The proposal was made through the Opinion Pages of the NY Times. Schumer promises that if Democrats win the Senate in 2020, he will propose this plan. Of course the current power structure in Washington DC is in the hands of the oil industry who is acting against any plan of this sort.
If you will, contrast this with the plan I just wrote about a few minutes ago. In Bucharest, the Capital of Romania, one of the poorest countries in Europe, the Mayor just instituted a new tax aimed at preventing polluting cars from entering the center of Bucharest. Romania overall is undertaking many steps to encourage adoption of zero emission vehicles, from adding electric buses in several cities, to adopting electric taxi’s in several cities, and encouraging purchase of electric cars.
If Romania can do this, why can’t America also take concrete steps rather than post wish’s on the NY Times Opinion Page?
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