By: Vanessa Lynch, Pennsylvania Field Organizer, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: August 25, 2021
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0208
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Vanessa Lynch, and I am a field organizer in Pennsylvania for Moms Clean Air Force. I live in Pittsburgh with my husband and two children.
I am asking the Environmental Protection Agency to choose the strongest option for their late model light-duty greenhouse gas emissions standard, which avoids all loopholes for automakers.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report summarizes the state of the science on climate change confirming climate change is “widespread, rapid, and intensifying.” The report paints a grim picture of our world’s future, unless swift and strong action is taken immediately to curb the pollution causing global climate change.
The transportation sector is the largest source of carbon pollution in the US. We cannot address the climate crisis without moving decisively to zero-pollution vehicles electrified by zero-pollution electric power sources.
In Pennsylvania, climate change is clearly making an impact. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reports the state has the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the nation, triple the number of cases from 10 years ago. If you talk to families in southwest PA, it's not if you know someone who has been impacted, but rather how severe were those impacts. From short-term antibiotic treatment to long-term joint pain and swelling, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and nerve pain—my neighbors and friends have experienced them all.
In my local community, I am experiencing climate impacts with landslides and major rain events becoming much more frequent. Our family was recently forced to install an interior French drain due to major flooding in our basement. Mold and mildew growth cause major home repair issues and health concerns as a result of the increase in rain in our region.
From 2010 to 2020, Pennsylvania experienced 37 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages, illustrating the increasing financial burden climate change is becoming to Pennsylvania’s families.
In order to set us on the path to 100% zero-emissions new vehicle sales by 2035, the near-term standards for climate pollution must be as strong as possible. And in order to protect families like mine from the most dire impacts of climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency must take bold and ambitious action at every opportunity to protect our children’s health and future.