Transportation is the leading source of climate change pollution, but cleaner cars, cleaner fuels, better transit and more sustainable planning present huge opportunities to reduce pollution while creating jobs and economic development. The Midwest is at the crossroads of the nation’s rail, road and air traffic and can be central to a sustainable future with clean transportation.
Chicago is the hub of a spoke-and-wheel passenger rail system radiating out to Detroit, Columbus, Springfield, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and all the cities in-between. The Midwest is also an auto manufacturing stronghold and can become a leader in battery development that brings us the next generation of clean cars.
What is ELPC Doing?
ELPC is a leader in the Midwest and Great Plains working to:
- Advance High-Speed Rail. High-speed trains in the Midwest would be three times as energy efficient as cars and six times as energy efficient as planes. Choosing rail travel over driving or flying will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and reduce air pollution that contributes to climate change and harms public health.
- Create a Market for Cleaner Cars, especially Electric Cars. ELPC is opposing both U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s bill and the EPA’s efforts to rollback CAFE fuel efficiency standards that reduce pollution, drive innovation and create domestic manufacturing jobs. As a member of the Charge-up Midwest campaign, ELPC is working with a regional coalition to accelerate electric vehicle adoption in the Midwest. Electric vehicles are the next generation clean cars — with smart strategies and the right locations, these vehicles present an exciting opportunity to reduce air pollution, save drivers up to $1,200 per year on gasoline, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
- Electric School Buses – ELPC is working to protect our kids from the dangers of diesel pollution and carbon emissions, by helping Midwestern communities shift to zero-emission electric school buses. Though these buses are a better deal for school districts over time, they have a high up-front cost, so we are helping communities access funding from public and private partnerships.
- Oppose Wasteful Highway Spending. ELPC partners with local environmental groups to oppose unnecessary highway projects that promote sprawl and instead promote more economically and environmentally sustainable “fix-it-first” priorities.
- Revitalize the Chicago Pedway. The Chicago Pedway is an important, but currently underused, asset for locals and visitors to the city alike. ELPC is working with Chicago partners to improve navigation and update corridors of the Pedway.