President’s Visit to Michigan a “Welcome Spotlight” on Clean Vehicles and the Jobs They’ll Bring

Statement of Peter Zalzal, EDF Associate Vice President for Clean Air Strategies – May 18, 20201

May 18, 2021
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

“The U.S is at a pivotal moment where we can – and must – take decisive actions to protect our climate and our people’s health and grow American jobs. No action we take will be more important that developing clean transportation. Shifting to zero-emission cars, trucks, SUVs and buses will allow us to simultaneously reduce unhealthy pollution, safeguard the climate, save consumers money, and create good new American jobs.

“President Biden’s remarks today in Dearborn, Michigan cast a welcome spotlight on clean vehicles and the enormous opportunity they create. Ford’s launch of its new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck tomorrow will make that spotlight even brighter. Ford promises the F-150 Lightning will be the most powerful in the series, plus it can power a home during an electrical outage and it will not emit any tailpipe pollution. That should shatter any remaining misconceptions about the benefits electric vehicles will deliver.

“The electric F-150 is the latest in a steady drumbeat of announcements about new electric vehicles by almost every automaker. But to grasp the opportunity before us, we need national pollution standards for our cars, trucks and buses. We must ensure that all new passenger cars and trucks sold by 2035 are zero-emitting vehicles. We must also ensure that all new medium and heavy-duty freight trucks and buses sold by 2040 are zero-emitting, with action by 2030 for vehicles used frequently in urban areas and communities.

“We also need investments like those President Biden has proposed in the American Jobs Plan, ensuring that we grow domestic manufacturing and that building these new electric cars, trucks and buses provides good-paying jobs for Americans. The benefits of a clean transportation sector must be shared equitably by all Americans.

“We agree with President Biden’s statement that ‘I think jobs when I think climate change.’ Pivoting America to clean transportation, and taking other bold steps to address climate change, are our best hope to strengthen our economy and rebuild better than ever after all our recent challenges. It is important that we take bold and decisive action to establish pollution standards for cars, trucks and buses, and move forward with societal investments in domestic manufacturing and jobs that will continue leading us toward a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future where we have eliminated harmful transportation pollution.”

- Peter Zalzal, Associate Vice President for Clean Air Strategies, Environmental Defense Fund

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