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House Democrats’ climate plan calls for 100 percent EV sales by 2035

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 30: Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chairwoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) delivers remarks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined her colleagues to unveil the Climate Crisis action plan, which calls for government mandates, tax incentives and new infrastructure to bring the U.S. economy's greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

House Democrats want to eliminate the US economy’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Two ways they hope to achieve this are: reaching 100 percent electric vehicle sales by 2035 and 100 percent clean electricity by 2040. Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Kathy Castor released a 538-page plan outlining those and other goals meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

The plan would push carmakers to sell only zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035 and zero-emission heavy duty trucks by 2040. It would incentivize domestic manufacturing with zero-emission technologies along the whole supply chain, and support R&D around electric long-haul trucking, shipping and aviation. The proposal also calls for building out EV “fueling” infrastructure.

To power those electric vehicles, the plan pushes for 100 percent clean energy, which could create as many as 530,000 new jobs annually. Federal solar and wind tax credits would be extended through 2025, The Washington Post notes, and there would be additional support for R&D around clean energy technologies, especially energy storage.

According to Gizmodo, the plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 37 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, and 88 percent below 2010 levels by 2050. Other key measures include developing carbon removal technology, investing in green manufacturing and construction, improving labor standards, advancing environmental justice, managing climate risks to public health, investing in resilient agriculture and creating a “green bank.”

Some argue that the plan could be more ambitious. While it borrows from the Green New Deal, it isn’t as aggressive. There’s also little chance that the plan will become law while Republicans control the Senate and President Trump is in the White House. That said, this is an election year, and the political balance could shift by 2021, at which point, the plan may have more of a chance.