Big Oil and its front groups want to kill electric vehicles (EVs) under the pretense of fairness.
It’s no secret why. The industry sees that the electric transportation future is coming fast, threatening their polluting profits, and they’re scared. We should double down on electrifying transportation and support an expansion of EV tax credits so we can stop pollution that is driving the climate crisis and making our air healthier for everyone.
Let’s get real about Big Oil: The industry receives over $26 billion in subsidies from American taxpayers and pays nothing for polluting the air we breathe and exacerbating the climate crisis. If there’s any group doesn’t need help from the government, it’s this industry.
Let’s also get real about who suffers the most from air pollution and climate: low-income families and communities of color. Pollution from fossil-fueled transportation is the largest single source of climate pollution in the United States. As we saw when Hurricane Harvey dumped 60 inches of rain on Houston or when Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, it’s frontline communities who suffer the greatest losses and are left without the help they need.
The threat and disparate impacts go beyond climate. Transportation pollution is also making us sick. According to new research published in The Lancet Planetary Health, exhaust from cars is responsible for up to 4 million new cases of pediatric asthma each year. Another recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that African Americans and Latinos are exposed to roughly 40 percent more air pollution from vehicles than white people in California. The same study found that California households earning less than $20,000 per year are exposed to 25 percent more particulate matter pollution (PM 2.5) than California households earning more than $200,000 per year.
There’s a straightforward fix for a good part of this dangerous pollution: electrify the transportation sector. And thankfully, the sector is heading that way fast. For instance, electric vehicle (EV) and electric bus sales, while still a small percentage of overall sales, are growing precipitously. Between 2017 and 2018, EV sales almost doubled, and, in the latter half of last year, a zero-emissions vehicle was the fifth-best-selling passenger car in the United States. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects that over 80 percent of all new bus sales globally will be electric buses by 2030. These increased sales are driving down costs and making electric transportation affordable for all.
Read more: The Hill