Guest Post: The Clean Power Plan Will Benefit Transportation, Too.

By Colin Murphy, Climate Policy Advocate, NextGen Climate America.

It’s Not Just About the Power Plants.

As climate advocates – and really, most of the nation– enjoy a well-deserved celebration after the announcement of the Clean Power Plan, transportation issues have taken a back seat. An overlooked benefit of the Clean Power Plan is that its an important step in transportation policy as well.

The Obvious Implication: Electric Cars Will Get Cleaner

The greatest immediate impact of the Clean Power Plan will obviously be on our electricity grid. My colleagues Dan Lashof, Dave Weiskopf and Michelle Levinson have covered that in great detail here, here and here¹. Cleaner electricity also reduces transportation emissions as more electric vehicles enter the fleet. Right now there are fewer than 200,000 Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs, which include electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) in the United States, but nine states have already committed to dramatically increasing that number over the coming decade and several others offer generous incentives for electric vehicle purchasers. In 2013, California adopted a plan to get 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025, and a study predicted sales of one million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles per year in the United States by 2024.

These vehicles will be drawing part or all of their energy from the grid, instead of from the gas pump—and this is big news for our air quality. Electric motors are substantially more efficient at turning stored energy into motion than internal combustion ones.

Click here to read more…

NextGen Climate America is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to creating a level playing field so that low-carbon advanced energy solutions can fairly compete with entrenched fossil fuel interests.

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