The Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All Campaign is working to ensure that we have a 21st century clean transportation system with access to cars, trucks, and buses that rely on little to no oil at all and to clean public transit and other local clean transportation solutions. The transportation sector is the largest and fastest growing source of carbon emissions in the U.S. In total, the U.S. transportation sector—which includes cars, buses, trucks, planes, trains, ships, and freight—produces nearly thirty percent of all U.S. climate emissions, more than any other sector. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
The Idaho Chapter Sierra Club is working with cities, regions, state agencies, and transit groups to promote clean transportation by improving public transit and changing land use to promote more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly development and investments in zero emission vehicles.
The Sierra Club has been involved with the National Drive Electric Week since its inception as an effort to increase public education and encourage a rapid adoption of this clean energy technology. In 2016 we had our largest show ever with more than 50 vehicles on display and Mayor Bieter issued a proclamation declaring Drive Electric Week in Boise! Our 2017 National Drive Electric week was just as incredible, with support across the board from local drivers and dealers. We even had some Boise made electric scooters from NF Scooters and electric bikes courtesy of George's Cycles.
Read all about the 2017 National Drive Electric Week event here!
Volkswagen Settlement Funds
A result of VW diesel cheating emission scandal, Volkswagen will spend billions on clean transportation initiatives throughout the United States with the goal of mitigating the NOx emissions produced by their "clean diesel" vehicles. Part of that settlement includes specific amounts allocated to states based on the number of polluting vehicles operating in each state. In Idaho, that will translate to a little over $17 million that the state can spend on clean transportation projects aimed at mitigating NOx emissions. There are several steps that the state has to take to receive the funds, the first of which being that Governor Butch Otter must apply to designate a Lead Agency "Beneficiary" that will oversee the funds.
The Idaho Chapter Sierra Club sent a letter to Gov. Otter asking for him to apply for the funds and use them exclusively on projects that advance the electrification of Idaho's transportation system. We need to make sure that Idaho captures the unique benefits that only electric vehicles provide including cleaner air, lower fuel & maintenance costs, increased transportation fuel dollars spent in Idaho, and a more resilient environment.
In March, the Idaho Department of Enivornmental Quality put forward a final Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, detailing their implementation strategy for spending the money allocated to the state of Idaho. The are holding an open public comment period for the plan that ends on April 2nd. Help the Sierra Club ask the DEQ to invest in electric vehicles to support Idaho's clean transportation future, submit your comments today! Download our official comments here.