Legislation would ensure all communities
have a chance to access health, cost benefits of zero-emission transportation
(May 25, 2021) – The transportation sector continues to be the largest
contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and a significant
source of toxic air pollution. Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)
introduced the Community Vehicle Charging Act of 2021 to spark
investment in zero-emission refueling infrastructure, such
as electric vehicle charging stations, in environmental justice
communities. The legislation would invest $375 million in a grant program
at the Department of Transportation for community-scale programs to install
electric vehicle infrastructure over the next five fiscal years. A
transition to zero-emission vehicles is essential to avoiding the worst impacts
of climate change, and widespread adoption of these vehicles is dependent
on adequate and equitable access to alternative fuel sources. President Biden
is a supporter of the electric vehicle economy, and the American Jobs Plan
would invest $15 billion to create a national network of 500,000 electric
vehicle charging stations.
Many electric vehicles are already cheaper over the course
of their lifetimes than their fossil fuel counterparts. These costs continue to
fall, and it is projected that the rapid electrification of vehicles, along
with a clean grid, would prevent 150,000 premature deaths from pollution and
save consumers $2.7
trillion by 2050
. Proactively planning for
and building out infrastructure now in an equitable way will be essential to
avoiding future electric vehicle deserts and ensuring that all communities have
access to the health benefits and cost savings clean vehicles will provide.
has never been more important to accelerate the shift to clean vehicles, a
transition that will not be possible unless it is accessible to all,” said
Senator Markey. “Without targeted investment into zero-emission
refueling infrastructure for environmental justice communities, air pollution
will continue to increase for these areas already facing the worst impacts
of our climate crisis. As we look to pass an historic infrastructure package in
the coming months, it is critical that we center environmental justice and
bold climate action at the heart of every dollar spent in order to meet
our emission-reduction goals and ensure true justice for these historically
overburdened communities. Every community should be able to plug in to the
clean energy revolution.”
the country today, zip codes with higher median incomes often have higher
per capita electric vehicle chargers. Without a targeted approach to investing
in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure in environmental justice communities,
and involving significant community input in planning processes, these
inequities will continue.
copy of the legislation can be found HERE
Vehicle Charging Act of 2021 would:
- Establish a grant program at the Department of
Transportation for community-scale programs to install electric vehicle
- Provide resources and increased technical support for
projects in environmental justice communities.
- Require identification and data collection related to
barriers that residents of environmental justice communities face to
access electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
- Require community input and outreach in project design.
- Promote educational activities surrounding
zero-emission vehicles and alternative refueling infrastructure.
legislation has been endorsed by the
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
after year, pollution from cars, trucks, and buses disproportionately impacts
communities of color and low income communities,” said Shruti
Vaidyanathan, transportation program director at the American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). “This bill will improve access to
electric vehicle charging in those critical communities and ensure that the
benefits of vehicle electrification are available to all. We need to enable a
rapid transition to electric vehicles, and Senator Markey’s bill would help
ensure it is equitable.”