Last week, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (Dem-NY) announced his plans to introduce a bill that could bring America back on track to meet the mid-century global deadline to become a carbon-neutral country. Scientists have made it clear that in order to arrest the worsening effects of climate change, the entire globe must achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by the middle of the century.
Senator Schumer revealed his plans in an op-ed he wrote for The New York Times last October 24, 2019. He describes them as a $462 Billion program in which Americans will trade-in their carbon emitting vehicles for clean cars to rapidly achieve the zero-carbon emission throughout the next decades. His plan envisions that by 2040, all American roads will have only electrically-charged or hybrid vehicles.
In acknowledging that there is already a mix of proposals bared and outlined as programs to urgently remove gas,oil and coal emissions out of the Earth’s atmosphere, Senator Schumer says his plans are different. Mainly because they include programs that will involve the transformation of America’s vehicle manufacturing industry, and the potential to unite the country’s environmental movement, the labor organizations and large automobile manufacturers.
The Democratic Senator also said in his op-ed that his ambitious plan already has the support of the United Automobile Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker, Ford, General Motors, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The Key Points of Senator Schumer’s Only-Clean Cars-in-America Proposal
The primary goal of Senator Schumer’s plan is to make electric or hybrid cars and battery-charging stations, batteries and electric car parts, available and affordable to most U.S. citizens. That is regardless of the state, city or county where they live and work, including rural, underserved and low income communities.
Federal funding therefore will be provided in building the necessary battery-charging stations in strategic locations. Senator Schumer estimates that around $45 billion would be needed to increase the availability of charging stations and other related infrastructures.
Federal grants will also be provided to retool the country’s existing vehicle makers; as well as to encourage the development of new technologies for manufacturing clean cars. Also, under this plan, Senator Schumer projects the creation of tens of thousands of new, decent-paying jobs, as well as the re-establishment of the United States as a global-leader in car manufacturing.
Most important of all is that the plan includes giving American car buyers the opportunity to replace their gas-fueled cars by trading them in, for thousands of dollar values in exchange for U.S.-manufactured electric or hydrogen-cell (hybrid) cars. Senator Schumer’s trade-in program includes giving extra credits to car buyers from lower-income American households and owners of cars built with American-made parts.