Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg called for a requirement that all new vehicles sold in America be carbon-free by 2035.
Bloomberg’s proposal released Friday targets the transportation sector, the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, as part of his overall goal of cutting emissions economy-wide 50% by 2030 in order to fully decarbonize before midcentury.
Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is trying to distinguish himself in the Democratic field by promoting his philanthropic success working with environmental groups to shut down more than half the nation’s coal plants.
“Mike is unique in his track record committing to this issue,” a senior adviser to the Bloomberg campaign told reporters on a press call.
As a candidate for president, Bloomberg, who previously favored gas as a “bridge fuel” to renewable energy, has sought to expand his work against coal to target all fossil fuels.
He’s pledged to stop the construction of new natural gas plants to achieve 80% clean electricity by 2028.
Earlier this week, he released a plan to make all new buildings zero-carbon by 2025 and retrofit old ones by phasing out natural gas appliances, through federal incentives and standards.
Bloomberg would use a similar formula to cut emissions from transportation, a tough task considering the lack of viable alternatives to gas-based vehicles, ingrained driving habits, and a shortage of charging infrastructure.
Electric vehicles are declining in price because of cheaper batteries, but represent only about 2% of sales.
The Bloomberg adviser said a president could “go far” using executive authority to mandate that new vehicles be emissions-free. His plan would also force 15% of new trucks and buses to be emissions-free by 2030.
All these Dem candidates talking about governing via sweeping executive order are setting up Trump’s second term very nicely.
— #Publius (@PatrickHenry911) January 18, 2020
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