Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy and community leaders urged Arizona’s elected leaders in Washington to support federal investments in clean transportation infrastructure in Flagstaff, the Navajo Nation and northern parts of Arizona. The press conference was sponsored by Moms Clean Air Force Arizona and is part of a series of grassroots events coordinated by the Climate Action Campaign.
Speakers called for Congress to pass bold federal investments in clean transportation to support the expansion of electric buses and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in Flagstaff and on the Navajo Nation. This expansion will further boost the local economy while helping to clean up the air for northern parts of the state.
Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy said, “Cities like Flagstaff have already recognized the need to transition to a cleaner economy. We know that e-buses and clean transit infrastructure have immense potential, which is why we need federal action with robust investments to help our cities accelerate the expansion.”
Transportation accounts for the largest source of climate-harming carbon pollution in the United States. Modernizing Arizona’s transportation sector and investing in clean-transit buses are critical to combating climate change, which makes extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts and wildfires more frequent and intense.
“In Arizona, wildfires and extreme heat make it crystal clear that we need urgent action on climate,” said Adrian Herder, media coordinator, Tó Nizhóní Ání. “We need to make a strong move toward clean energy, and we’re calling for our representatives in Washington to support bold and strong investments in that effort.”
“Extreme weather events like droughts and wildfires are a direct threat to our livelihoods,” said Jim Babbitt, retired businessman and Owner of Babbitt Ranches. “Urgent action on climate and funding for clean technology like electric vehicle infrastructure is necessary to secure the future viability of ranching.”
Investments in clean transportation and electric buses and vehicles are essential to meeting Flagstaff’s climate goals, reducing air pollution, improving public health, achieving environmental justice and spurring the economy. Arizona is home to a growing base of electric vehicle manufacturing, including right here in Flagstaff. Meaningful federal investments can spur the advancement of this industry, which leads to cleaner air, reduced fuel costs and more family-sustaining jobs for our communities.
Jack Fitchett, MPA, business attraction manager, City of Flagstaff said, “We have already had an EV manufacturer move into Flagstaff, so we are first hand proof that commitments to clean energy are a recipe for economic growth. With a strong infrastructure plan from Washington, we can bring new businesses and good jobs to Flagstaff and Arizona.”
Recent polling found that these investments are popular in Northern Arizona. Approximately 75% of voters in the 1st Congressional District support investments to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize public transportation to ensure it is cleaner and able to serve more people. Fifty-seven percent also support investments in electric vehicles and charging stations to reduce pollution and help more Americans buy clean cars.
“Understanding that climate change is the most immediate and existential environmental justice issue, we must move quickly in scaling up investments in and adoption of clean energy, electric vehicles and smart charging technology; building out EV infrastructure; and stimulating the market for EVs so that the up-front costs come down quickly,’’ said Dara Marks-Marino, Environmental Justice Analyst at WattTime. “Financial investment in EVs and clean energy will directly lead to job growth and economic development.”
Speakers thanked Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and Congressman Tom O’Halleran for their climate leadership. They also urged continued support for clean energy growth and the expansion of the market for clean vehicles and buses in order to improve public health and create economic opportunity for all Arizonans.
For a video of the press conference, please visit [HERE].
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