Mary Creasman: New era of clean transportation requires new leadership

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Mary Creasman

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that California will eliminate the sale of gas powered cars by 2035 is finally jumpstarting the big transportation changes necessary to fight against the climate crisis.The transportation sector accounts for 40% of California’s total emissions that cause climate change, and yet California hasn’t made any big strides in this sector legislatively. So why are we behind?Past efforts to move toward cleaner transportation have been stalled primarily by one legislator and one committee. Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Jim Frazier, a Democrat who represents portions of Solano and Contra Costa counties, has used his committee to stop the very progress that Newsom now has to mandate by executive order.In 2019, Assemblymember Phil Ting, introduced a bill that would have required the California Air Resources Board to develop a comprehensive strategy to fully transition cars to zero-emission by 2040, very similar to today’s goal. But Frazier first tried to weaken the bill with amendments, and then refused to give it a hearing.Frazier also slowed efforts to recognize Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of putting 5 million electric cars on the road by 2030. He worked to change bills intended to put electric cars on the …

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