Environmental advocates call on Pa. federal electeds to push for cleaner cars | Pittsburgh City Paper

Environmental advocates call on Pa. federal electeds to push for cleaner cars

Today, environmental advocates urged members of Pennsylvania’s federal congressional delegation to push for stronger carbon emission standards for new cars.

Allegheny County Councilor Anita Prizio, Pittsburgh City Councilor Erika Strassburger, and ER Nurse Holly Jensen of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments joined other local advocates to call on Pennsylvania’s federal elected officials to lobby the Environmental Protection Agency to enact “strong” standards for model years 2027-2035, which they hope will “limit carbon pollution and spur the clean energy economy.”

Speakers emphasized the potential economic and environmental benefits of cleaner cars.

“Nearly 100,000 Pennsylvanians already work in the clean tech sector, and clean and electric vehicles have the potential to spur even more local innovation and manufacturing growth,” said Prizio. “New investment in the U.S. automotive industry to build clean cars, driven by these standards as well as the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, will create new manufacturing and engineering jobs in Allegheny County, across Pennsylvania, and the country.”

Strassburger said this is a "win-win."

“Drivers suffering from this summer’s price volatility will save money at the pump, and workers will see more jobs and economic growth in manufacturing and supply chain industries right here in Pennsylvania,” she added.

The event speakers praised the efforts of Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Mike Doyle, and other members of Pa.’s congressional delegation for supporting clean car standards in the past and urged them to push the EPA to issue “even stronger standards” this year.

Jensen, an ER nurse, also raised concerns that low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionally impacted by air pollution and the climate crisis.

“With the transportation sector as one of the largest sources of carbon pollution in Pennsylvania, stronger clean car standards and investments in EVs will help communities fight climate change and its devastating health impacts,” said Jensen. “The health of low-income communities and communities of color are hit hardest and bear the biggest brunt of air pollution and the climate crisis. By investing in cleaner cars, we would reduce harmful pollution and ensure our most vulnerable communities in Pennsylvania have cleaner air.”