The future of transportation should take center stage at Motor City debates

What we’re looking for during the second round of primary debates
For Immediate Release

For More Information:

Katie Murtha, VP of Federal Government Affairs, 703-598-2153, kmurtha@environmentamerica.org

 

DETROIT -- Twenty Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage here over the next two days to present their vision for the country. In the first debates in Miami last month, climate change was among the topics discussed. Proposals to reduce global warming emissions and transition to clean energy should be front-and-center in this second round.

Notably, this week’s debates follow on the heels of a deal between California and four automakers -- including Ford -- to increase fuel efficiency standards. That agreement was in response to the Trump administration’s ongoing rollbacks to the federal Clean Car Standards.

Detroit-area native Katie Murtha, Environment America’s vice president of federal government affairs and former chief of staff for longtime Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, issued the following statement about the upcoming debates:

“Given that our transportation system is the number one contributor to global warming in the United States, any serious plan to confront climate change must take aim at slashing those emissions. There isn’t a better place to articulate the vision for a cleaner, greener transportation system than in the Motor City. 

“The auto industry built Detroit through innovation, hard work and good, old-fashioned American ingenuity. With our great research institutions and can-do spirit, the city is ready to help lead the U.S. toward a better future. What’s missing is a single, scientifically-based goal. We applaud Ford for standing up for one of America’s best climate programs -- the Clean Car Standards -- and we urge all other automotive companies to follow suit. It’s equally important for the candidates to articulate plans to build on those standards, increase fuel efficiency and champion electric vehicles and infrastructure. 

“Overall, these debates are an opportunity to shine a bright spotlight on the role America must play as an international leader in addressing the climate crisis. While federal regulations are going the wrong way, many states have stepped up, passing bold climate policies that recognize the urgency with which we have to approach this issue. We look forward to hearing the candidates’ plans to tackle climate from the federal level, including a transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy.

“At the end of the day, all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, want to keep harmful pollutants out of our air, get lead out of our water, and protect our planet for generations to come. Anyone who hopes to be commander-in-chief must recognize this and come to the table with bold, specific plans to achieve those goals.”