Local advocates and officials call for clean transportation

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - As the conversation about infrastructure continues, some local officials and advocates are also calling for a seat at the table.

Morgantown elected officials and clean vehicle advocates came together during a press conference on Wednesday to call for strong federal investments in clean transportation infrastructure and to highlight what they believe are the benefits of electric buses.

“As a parent, as a social worker, as a person of faith, I find that [polluted air] unacceptable,” said Field and Special Projects Manager of Moms Clean Air Force Elizabeth Brandt. “My children deserve to have a better opportunity to breathe clean air than I had, and that’s what all children deserve.”

This call to action is one of many happening across the country as the U.S. Congress and the Biden administration consider broad infrastructure proposals. Locally, these residents are hoping to be heard by both West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito.

City of Morgantown Mayor Jennifer Selin said, “It’s just part of becoming modern, I think it’s really important to move forward and to not be rooted just in the past.”

Transportation accounts for almost one-third of all US emissions and is the single largest source of pollution in the US. That is one reason advocates propose investing in clean transportation is essential to reducing air pollution and creating jobs.

Delegate Evan Hansen (Monongalia, 51) said, “This is part of an all of the above energy strategy that Sen. Manchin likes to talk about, and an all of the above strategy also embraces renewables and electric vehicles because these jobs are going somewhere, and if they’re going somewhere we want them to come here to West Virginia.”

Everyone at the conference agreed that electric transportation is a bold investment, but one of the advocates highlighted that the state’s highways and interstates were also a large investment that made life easier and that’s how they hope state leaders will see this as well.

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