The transportation sector contributes to 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, more than any other sector. We know the future of the car is electric, but in a just world, more transportation options would be available. Looking at the industry from a whole, there is a lot more to do than just promoting the EV transition. The way we design our cities and the building out of public transportation can do a lot to reduce dangerous pollution while we transition our cars to electric.
Much of the conversation on transportation has revolved around how we move ourselves around, but little is said about the heavy polluting trucks that deliver our goods across the country. Soon the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release a draft rule regulating pollution from heavy duty trucks. This rule is a key opportunity to reduce deadly pollution in communities that don’t have the resources to fight back.
Detroit neighborhoods are some of the most heavily trucked streets in the country. The border with Canada is the second busiest international crossing in terms of trade volume and brings polluting vehicles right through residential streets. The completion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge in 2025 will only increase this traffic.
The upcoming EPA standards must put the nation on a trajectory to ensure 100 percent of all heavy duty vehicles sold by 2035 are zero-emission vehicles. The American Lung Association estimates that adaptation of zero-emission heavy duty vehicles by 2050 will prevent 66,800 premature deaths and save $735 billion in public health benefits.
Check back with the Washington Weekly when the rule is released later this month to see how you can craft a public comment to ensure strong pollution regulations.