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Just two days before Earth Day, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched an ad campaign to combat long-running efforts by the fossil fuel industry to undermine clean transportation progress. The campaign will include TV and online ads, social media, and grassroots engagement in Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. The EDF hopes that the campaign can boost the Biden administration’s plans to invest in a massive transition to electric vehicles, including $45 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission transit buses and school buses.
Why This Matters: Clean vehicles are a key part of both the jobs and climate plans of the Biden administration as the President will highlight in his virtual tour of an EV battery plant today. Transitioning the U.S. to a clean energy and transportation economy is essential to meeting the goals of the Paris agreement and post-pandemic economic recovery. Biden has promised that his $2 trillion infrastructure plan will create millions of jobs and accelerate America’s path to a greener, more equitable energy economy. The American Jobs Plan involves investments in the infrastructure for electric vehicles, which will gradually shrink their business. Electric vehicles are — dare we say it — an existential crisis for the fossil fuel business. And this EDF ad campaign shows that the oil companies know it.
“Even as we see some responsible energy companies moving toward a cleaner future, we know the industry’s Washington lobbyists have a long and documented history of fighting clean transportation,” said Elizabeth Gore, the Senior Vice President of Political Affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund. “We need to boost clean electric vehicles not only to help American consumers, but so we don’t lose these jobs to Europe and China — who are set to outcompete us as their governments lean into EV development.”
EDF calls the fossil fuel industry’s messaging “often misleading” and says it has hidden behind front groups like the Transportation Fairness Alliance to lobby against clean energy policy. Oil and gas companies also have a track record of exaggerating the taxpayer cost of clean transportation infrastructure. But while infrastructure and utility changes will cost taxpayers just cents per month, the average American spends $175 each month on gasoline. Even so, Americans now distrust oil companies more than ever, giving the EDF and environmentalists much-needed hope.
“The oil industry profits by keeping us addicted to the gas pump, so its lobbyists will fight against anything that threatens to break that dependence,” said Gore. EDF is combatting this addiction by building on a recent ad campaign that countered claims that wind-power was responsible for outages during the Texas freeze in February 2021. The new additions advocate for investments in clean energy and transportation and call out the oil industry for its effort to thwart green progress. “Oil industry lobbyists are doing their best to kill progress on electric vehicles,” says one ad. “It’s their profits versus cleaner air, healthier kids, [and] new jobs.” EDF maintainst that the U.S. is on the right path, but it must stay the course to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and secure a bright future for Americans. Gore said, “President Biden’s plan to move the United States to clean cars, trucks, and buses, will mean healthier communities, cleaner air, a safer climate — and getting the oil industry’s hands off our wallets.”
On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first rule of the Biden administration to combat climate change. EPA Administrator Michael Regan has announced that the rule implementing the 15-year phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) passed by Congress last year.
Why This Matters: Although HFCs have an atmospheric lifetime of about 15 years, which is less than any other GHG, and the most common type is 3,790 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new list from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) shows that last year, thirteen U.S. oil refineries emitted more of the cancer-causing chemical benzene than was permitted by the government. This is an increase from eleven refineries that made the list in 2019. Why This Matters: These unlawful benzene […]
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