Message to Candidates: Don't Forget Car Dependence When Tackling Fossil Fuels

Car dependence will have to end for the most ambitious climate plans put forward by Democratic candidates for president to have the desired effect.

1 minute read

August 29, 2019, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Presidential Campaign

Rachael Warriner / Shutterstock

Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate, devotes an entire section of a new climate plan to transportation, calling for total decarbonization of the transportation sector by 2030. But it's not enough, according to an article by Alissa Walker.

The problem, according to Walker, is in the plan's car-centric nature.

Sanders’s plan is still almost all about cars, even if they are electric. His proposals won’t erase commutes and congestion. And more livable, connected, and vibrant communities certainly won’t be created by offering incentives to buy plug-in vehicles and building more places to plug them in. This plan to comprehensively electrify America’s cars will use up almost one-fifth of the entire Green New Deal budget, more than what’s allotted to build a nationwide renewable energy grid and storage system—and much of that capacity would go toward powering all the EVs.

In effect, Walker is calling for progressive transportation policy to move beyond tackling fossil fuel dependence to also tackle car dependence.

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