The BDN commentary unit is independent and does not issue policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.
Sarah Nichols is a counselor in Bangalore. She represents the entire city council in this column.
Our state has high climate goals, and I am thrilled to see our community at the forefront of Bangalore as a city council. Following the announcement of a four-year climate action plan for Maine, Bangora and Orono have teamed up to establish a common framework for a joint municipal climate action plan.
This innovative plan, which aims to reduce our region’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 by 2050, is needed locally to address the climate crisis. It also underscores the need for common sense investments in our elected leaders in Washington to follow our example and tackle climate change, achieve true environmental justice and accelerate the transition to clean energy.
As the transportation sector is the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, investing in clean transportation is one of the easiest ways to solve the climate crisis by reducing air pollution, improving public health, promoting environmental justice, and stimulating our local economy. . Investing in EV vehicles and building EV charging stations in our state will play an important role in facilitating this transition. President Joe Biden’s initial infrastructure proposal includes tax credits aimed at expanding the EV market and the necessary investments to build a network of 500,000 EV chargers nationwide.
These policies have the potential not only to combat climate change but also to create more supportive families here in Maine. Manufacturing is more than 10 percent of Maine’s gross domestic product and employs 53,000 people. Investments in clean vehicle infrastructure will boost the region’s clean energy economy and manufacturing sector. The construction of charging stations will also create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction sector.
Pure transportation means fresh air. And for more than 23,000 children and about 130,000 adults suffering from asthma, we can’t wait to make this transition. If there is no significant investment in clean vehicles and infrastructure, cars will continue to produce air pollutants that are polluting the air and endangering our health. Everyone, from children traveling on school buses to those near major highways and other polluted areas, will benefit from better air quality than electric transportation. Electric vehicles produce zero tail pollution and are a better option for Bangor roads.
It will also be important to make these investments to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change across our state. Carbon pollution is the driver of extreme weather events, such as weather and heat waves. Between 2010 and 2020, Maine experienced three severe weather events that cost our state up to $ 100 million. Today, more than 30,000 miners are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat. A.D. By 2050, our state could take up to 40 dangerous heat days a year. As the Gulf of Maine heats up more than 99.9 percent of the world’s oceans, our vital fishing community could be in danger.
We are running out of time to take action on climate change, and I am proud that Bangalore and Maine have already taken the lead. But we want our leaders in Washington to make lasting changes in climate, justice and employment. These investments are supported by communities throughout Maine, including Bangor, and it is important that we support clean energy development and investments in the electric vehicle market to improve public health and create economic opportunities for all in Maine.