Transportation contributes to 29% of all US greenhouse gas emissions. We need to eliminate our transportation emissions by converting our modes of transportation to clean and renewable energy by 2040. The government needs to set aggressive standards for ground vehicles, aircrafts, and public transportation.
First, vehicles on the ground need to hit zero-emissions by 2040. The standard for all car models from 2030 on should be zero-emission. This new fleet of primarily electric vehicles (EV) will require a massive installment of EV charging stations. Several states and utility companies are already investing billions of dollars in research for charging capabilities and installment of EV charging stations in big cities. We need to make sure that the areas in between the big cities are not left behind. My plan will invest $50 billion in EV charging station infrastructure in nonurban areas in order to ensure that there is complete coverage of charging stations across the country.
Second, aircrafts need to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. No current technology exists that would produce a fleet of planes that could fly completely emission free. Fully electric aircrafts at that scale aren’t likely to exist before 2050. Aircrafts also have a long life; many planes flown today will still be flying 20-30 years from now. We need to (1) find alternative fuels that can significantly reduce current aircraft emissions, and (2) establish enough carbon capture systems to capture the aircraft emissions that remain.
Government will invest in the carbon capture piece of the puzzle and will require the private and commercial sector to figure out how to meet lower established emission standards with alternative fuel. Several alternative fuels could surface in the next 15-20 years that allow aircrafts fly with little to no emissions. Prospects include jet biofuel and sustainable aviation fuel made from algae, municipal waste, and used cooking oil. The federal government also needs to invest in developing low emission aircrafts for our military and government air travel.
Third, public transportation needs to run on renewable energy. Public transit infrastructure all over the country is crumbling. The backlog cost to fix it is $90 billion and estimated to reach $122 billion by 2032. Since we need to spend this money anyway, we might as well invest more up front to make our public transit systems run on renewable energy. That’s just common sense.
Every state operates a different public transit system, so it is important that federal dollars earmarked for sustainable public transit be given directly to the states with specific standards and expectations of net-zero emission public transit by 2040 attached. The federal government can establish these standards, create a central database to share data between the states, and provide grants to states to ensure they make the transition to fully renewable public transit.
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Problems to be Solved
- People will not buy electric vehicles if charging stations are not available; companies will not invest in charging stations if there are not enough electric vehicles on the road.
- Air transportation cannot fly completely emissions free.
- Most public transportation systems run on fossil fuels, are crumbling, and the backlog is costing local governments hundreds of billions of dollars.
“We need to set an aggressive but realistic timeline in order to hit the targets required to ensure that our way of life can continue, we don’t lose trillions of dollars, and we don’t lose thousands of American lives in the process.”
- Promote emission free (electric) vehicles by investing in electric charging stations in nonurban areas
- Get air travel to net-zero emissions by through the use of biofuel and carbon capture technologies
- Convert all public transportation systems to renewables
As President, I will...
- Immediately create a system similar to the ZEV program in California, and require all vehicles starting with 2030 models to be zero-emission
- Invest $50 billion in EV charging stations in nonurban areas.
- All commercial, private, and government aircrafts to move toward low-emission standards as is technically feasible by 2040.
- Government investment of $2 billion in carbon capture technologies research and $9.5 billion over 15 years in installing carbon capture systems that can equal out the remaining limited amount of air travel emissions.
- Government investment of $300 billion over 15 years into research for alternative aircraft fuel.
- Create a $200 billion grant program to states to convert their public transportation systems (trains, buses, school buses) to electric vehicles.