FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán joined Representatives Doris Matsui, Gerald Connolly, Yvette Clark, and 25 House colleagues in a letter urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to include robust funding for electric vehicles (EVs) in any forthcoming infrastructure or investment package.
“Transportation is a major pollutant in Los Angeles County and across the country, especially in low-income and communities of color. In my district, many people suffer health issues due to pollution. We must commit to significant and meaningful investments in the production and adoption of electric vehicles to create lasting solutions my constituents can afford. Everyone deserves modern and safe infrastructure that addresses the public health disparities communities overburdened by pollution face,” Congresswoman Barragán said.
“Robust funding for transportation electrification will be essential to support a cleaner economy, meet our Paris Climate Agreement National Determined Contributions (ND) decarbonization goals, and address transportation pollution that has historically harmed frontline communities,” said the lawmakers.
The current Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID) contains $10-$13 billion for dedicated EV investments and charging infrastructure. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan outlined $174 billion in needed investments to support EV production and adoption in any forthcoming reconciliation package. The group of lawmakers is urging leadership to meet or exceed this level of investment.
“Considering the pressing calls to double down on climate efforts this year, our nation must take quick and aggressive action to combat greenhouse gas emissions by supporting the EV transition while creating new jobs, combating transportation pollution, and building a more just and equitable future that is rooted in a clean and innovative economy,” the lawmakers continued.
The full letter is available HERE and below:
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer:
As Congress continues negotiations to advance legislation to build a stronger and more equitable economy, we urge you to include robust funding for electric vehicles (EVs) in any forthcoming infrastructure or investment package. While we are thankful to see some EV-related funding included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework – roughly $10-$13 billion based on different estimates , – the investments in this proposal fall far short of the $174 billion outlined in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan needed to support EV production and adoption on a sufficient scale. Robust funding for transportation electrification will be essential to support a cleaner economy, meet our Paris Climate Agreement National Determined Contributions (NDC) decarbonization goals, and address transportation pollution that has historically harmed frontline communities.
Last month, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), reported that the U.S. is falling behind in the global electric vehicle race , putting the country in danger of a “huge missed opportunity” as China and Europe scale up their manufacturing capacity to spearhead the new global clean transportation sector. Currently, the EV industry employs over 250,000 Americans and, with appropriate government investments, it is expected to create over two million jobs nationally in the coming decades . If we do not support domestic EV manufacturing and infrastructure, competitors will increase their share of the domestic EV market at our expense. Missing this opportunity will put millions of new, good paying clean jobs at risk.
The transportation sector is the largest source of U.S. carbon pollution and robust investments on EV production and adoption are crucial to achieve our national decarbonization goals and obligations under the Paris Agreement. According to a recent report, swift EV deployment could get our country roughly a quarter of the way to meeting our NDC target of 50-52 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2030. Further, vehicle electrification is crucial to address the disparate effects of transportation pollution from internal combustion engine vehicles that are particularly harmful to frontline communities living along highway corridors and in urban centers. With more than half a million COVID-19 deaths in our nation, it is more vital than ever that we prioritize pollution reduction and clean air for everyone, especially for low-wealth populations and communities of color that have historically suffered the greatest from disproportionate air pollution.
To support a stronger, cleaner economy, healthier and more resilient communities, and meet the challenges posed by the climate crisis, we urge you to include within the reconciliation package whatever levels of funding necessary to match or exceed the $174 billion in EV investments outlined in the American Jobs Plan in any forthcoming infrastructure or investment package, including light-duty consumer incentives, EV charging infrastructure funding, EV manufacturing incentives, federal EV procurement requirements, and incentives to electrify heavy-duty commercial fleets. These investments must be accompanied by strong workplace and labor protections, and a commitment that no less than 40 percent of the investments go to disadvantaged communities, as outlined in President Biden’s Justice40 initiative.
According to the most recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) report, 2021 is a pivotal turning point to confront the global climate emergency and avert the most devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Considering the pressing calls to double down on climate efforts this year, our nation must take quick and aggressive action to combat greenhouse gas emissions by supporting the EV transition while creating new jobs, combating transportation pollution, and building a more just and equitable future that is rooted in a clean and innovative economy.
We look forward to working with you on this important issue and stand ready to support efforts to incorporate robust EV investments into an infrastructure and reconciliation package.
Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington. She serves as chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security.