I drive a Toyota, a hybrid. I can’t commit to an entirely electric vehicle yet because there isn’t enough reliable charging infrastructure along my regular driving routes.
But I cannot wait for America to charge into the 21st century, with a modern infrastructure system to support electric cars that get charged with clean, non-polluting electricity. It just doesn’t make sense to power up our non-polluting electric vehicles with electricity that is generated from coal or methane gas. We must get to 100% Clean Energy as quickly as possible, for clean air and a stable climate.
We cannot accomplish one goal without the other. We think of this as our SuperChargeUS moment.
We are, finally, heading in the right direction to reach these two ambitious — and I would say inevitable — goals: Electrify our transportation, and clean up our electricity. During this presidential transition period, in appointments being made across many agencies, we are seeing an acknowledgment of the climate crisis and a determination to get us to climate safety. That’s a good, strong signal.
It is past time to act on climate. Moms Clean Air Force members support a multitude of ways to cut air and climate pollution — and also ensure Justice in Every Breath. No mechanism that allows polluters to dump air and climate pollution on any community is tolerable.
Another good sign: General Motors CEO Mary Barra, the first female CEO of a major automaker, who also happens to be the mother of two children, has pulled GM out of the Trump Administration’s lawsuit against California. Trump is trying to take away longstanding state authority to set strict pollution limits on vehicles; GM had joined that lawsuit, along with Toyota and Chrysler.
All of you members of Moms Clean Air Force who signed petitions, and took to Facebook and Twitter to protest that lawsuit, played a major role. You called GM out for not protecting our safety — and the stability of our world. Thank you.
And just last week, Nissan also pulled out of that same lawsuit. We are hopeful that this is just the beginning of a wave of automakers deciding to abandon this damaging effort and stepping up to protect our children from climate change.
The election also had an impact, of course. No responsible CEO wants to ignore those flashing warning signals of danger ahead. But that’s what Toyota and Chrysler are still doing. They’re the other major companies that are still suing to prevent states from taking action against climate change.
So keep the pressure up. Toyota knows how to make efficient cars — many of its customers love their Priuses. Its parent company is in Japan, a country that recently announced ambitious cuts on climate pollution. Toyota needs to get out of the way of progress for everyone.
We need every major auto manufacturer to put the pedal to the metal. We’ve been stalled for the past four years. Meanwhile, thanks to a great deal of private investment, batteries are improving rapidly, every year getting more efficient and more powerful and lighter and smaller.
Clean up electricity sources. Create modern infrastructure to support clean cars — which, as an added bonus, are also way cheaper to maintain.
This country can join the world’s leadership, creating millions of new jobs, or it can bring up the rear — while we continue to choke on exhaust.
Let’s move into the future.