Transition to Electric Vehicles Would Save West Virginia Lives, Avoid Economic ImpactsNew American Lung Association report finds West Virginia could save lives, and annually avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in state health impacts through transition to electric transportation
CHARLESTON, WV | September 15, 2020
Today the American Lung Association released “The Road to Clean Air” – a new report that outlines the broad benefits of a transition to an electric transportation sector increasingly powered by clean, non-combustion renewable energy over the coming decades. The report finds a transition to electric cars, buses and trucks by mid-century would both improve air quality and address climate change, benefiting the lives and health of Americans and West Virginia residents, and would result in significant local benefits.
“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Kevin Stewart, director, environmental health, American Lung Association. “We have the technology to transition to cleaner cars, trucks and buses, and by taking that step we can prepare West Virginia for the future while also seeing the health and economic benefits forecasted in ‘The Road to Clean Air.’ Especially as our state faces the impacts of climate change such as extreme heat and severe storms, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health and our future.”
“The Road to Clean Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to an electric transportation sector over the coming decades.
National benefits per year based on emission reductions in 2050:
- avoiding approximately 6,300 premature deaths
- preventing more than 93,000 asthma attacks
- preventing 416,000 lost workdays
- $72 Billion in public health benefits
- $113 Billion in global climate impacts avoided
Benefits in West Virginia per year based on emission reductions in 2050:
- avoiding approximately 28 premature deaths
- preventing more than 304 asthma attacks
- preventing 1,362 lost workdays per year
- $326,495,859 in public health benefits
Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation pollution contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes and premature deaths. As shown in the Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, nearly half of all Americans are living with unhealthy air quality, and low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by bad air quality. In West Virginia, even though the majority of counties could not be graded in the “State of the Air” report because there were no monitors measuring ozone or particle pollution, we know that residents still experience days when air pollution reaches unhealthy levels.”
Achieving these major benefits to our health and our climate will require dedicated and sustained leadership and investment at all levels of government and will require public education and engagement to ensure the transition to electric vehicles provides clean air for all. The Lung Association is encouraging all West Virginians to sign a petition to Governor Jim Justice urging support for the critical transition to electric vehicles across the United States.
For more information about “The Road to Clean Air” report visit Lung.org/ev. Journalists seeking to speak with a policy or medical expert about the benefits of a transition to electric vehicles and the health impacts of air pollution or climate change may contact Val Gleason at [email protected] or 717-971-1123 or cell 302-275-2277.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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