Crain's Chicago Business
The Midwest has long been a hub of transportation innovation, here at the crossroads of the nation, from the canal-builders of Ohio and railroad-track layers of Illinois, to the car manufacturers of Michigan’s motor cities. Cars remain central to our transportation system and we have designed our infrastructure around them, but our car-dependence has also caused damage to public health and the environment, so the time has come to innovate once again.
Transportation is a leading source of air pollution, including the smog and particulate matter that choke out our air and the carbon pollution that fuels climate change. By embracing new clean technology and advancing the cars of the future, we can reduce the impact of cars and light trucks in our environment even as we work to develop a sustainable transportation system for the long-term health and safety of our communities.
Cars around the world are becoming more efficient, but the Trump administration is taking us in the opposite direction. Under the 2012 Clean Car Standards, new cars, minivans, and pickups sold between 2017 and 2025 would continually improve by using less gasoline to travel a mile and emit less carbon pollution out of the tailpipe. This important Obama-era regulation to reach an average of 54.5 mpg for new vehicles by 2025 was the most effective initiative at reducing climate pollution, while saving us money at the pump and making our automotive sector more globally competitive. The Trump has now issued a final replacement of these common-sense standards with a weak goal of 40 mpg by 2026, simultaneously stripping away the authority of states to set stricter pollution standards to protect their citizens. ELPC opposes the clean cars rollback and will continue to challenge the flawed replacement in the courts.
EVs will help end our dependence on oil to fuel our transportation sector, and they will save drivers money in the long run because electricity is cheaper.
Electric vehicles are the clean cars we need today. These vehicles allow us to get where we need to go and reduce air and climate pollution, especially as we shift the electric grid towards more wind and solar energy. EVs will help end our dependence on oil to fuel our transportation sector, and they will save drivers money in the long run because electricity is cheaper. To support the transition to an electric vehicle future, ELPC has focused on ensuring we have a comprehensive network of charging stations. While customers will do most of their charging at home, they want assurances that they can charge their cars in convenient public places and along highways. We are also working to implement discount rates that encourage charging at night. Our work includes testimony before public utility commissions, expert analysis, and regional advocacy. ELPC is a member of Charge Up Midwest, a regional coalition working to accelerate electric vehicle adoption, and we are a leader in supporting the transition to electric school buses, to provide safe transportation for our children.
Cars are becoming smarter and more connected every year. With the introduction of self-driving cars, we could see a new era in mobility that transforms our very way of life. There is no doubt that automated vehicles will have an impact on our environment. AVs could increase miles travelled, increase energy consumption and sprawl, and make 100-mile commutes more common. Other concerns include pedestrian safety, congestion, and land use. ELPC is working to ensure national legislation for AVs will include a robust study of what AVs will mean for our environment, communities, and transportation systems. We are work working with state and federal agencies on planning issues, urging them to carefully consider the potential greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts that could result from AV deployment.