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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

NY elected officials kick off tour touting EV benefits

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024   

New York elected officials are kicking off a tour to tout the benefits of electric vehicles.

The Elected Officials to Protect America tour is planning stops in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia, to encourage state leaders to transition their states to EVs. New York climate goals stipulate all new cars sold in New York will be all-electric by 2035.

Asm. Angelo Santabarbara, D-Amsterdam, said climate change's growing impacts make the transition necessary.

"The fact is, our world is facing serious climate change issues and we've been seeing this for quite some time," Santabarbara pointed out. "We are also seeing the effects of that. We've seen it year after year. From the first year I've been in office, I've seen the effects of climate change devastate our communities, from flooding to fires."

This year, one of the worst hurricane seasons is predicted. As storms intensify, so does the damage. But Santabarbara is one of many who see electric vehicles as another tool to stave off climate change.

Legislation is easing the process of building up EV charging infrastructure but he noted more needs to be done.

The electric vehicle transition is also being seen as a way to improve public health. Breathing particulate matter leads to health effects like heart disease and respiratory issues.

Jason West, director of energy and sustainability for the City of Albany, said tailpipe exhaust makes up much of the city's greenhouse gas emissions.

"As the global burning of fossil fuels relentlessly raises the planet's temperature, air quality and its damaging health effects will only get worse," West asserted. "Extreme heat, heart and lung disease amplifies mental health issues, and compounds the traumas faced by those in environmental justice communities."

Challenges have kept EVs from being more widely accepted. Affordability is an issue for some, although state tax credits and consumer incentives are helping with that.

Alex Cornell du Houx, president and co-founder of Elected Officials to Protect America, noted a major threat to EVs is misinformation.

"Everyone's probably heard of some rumors and 'facts,' supposedly, that are about EVs, which are just put out there as disinformation," du Houx emphasized. "It's practically pretty amazing how you can paint an EV as something that causes fires all the time, when the alternative literally combusts."

Disclosure: Elected Officials to Protect America contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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