Like air pollution, climate change impacts vulnerable populations the most, including our children, seniors and communities already disadvantaged by pollution and poverty. As a pediatrician, I see firsthand the harm caused by our oil addiction. Children living in polluted areas experience higher rates of asthma and slowed lung development. This is a terrible burden we are putting on our children and future generations.  We must dedicate all available resources to get off fossil fuels to protect children today and into the future.
— Afif El-Hasan, MD

What’s so bad about gasoline?

 

Every gallon of gas burned emits 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is the main driver of climate change.

The transportation sector is the biggest source of carbon emissions, at 32% of the US carbon footprint, 41% for California (with light-duty vehicles making up 70% of the total), and 47% for Washington State. Overloading the earth's atmosphere with carbon dioxide is causing warming land and ocean temperatures resulting in more severe storms, droughts and other weather events. In 2017 alone, these types of natural disasters cost the nation $306 billion. Moving away from gasoline-powered vehicles to clean alternatives is critical to the effort to avert catastrophic climate change.

Vehicle emissions also account for 80% of smog-causing air pollution. They increase risks of asthma, heart and lung disease, dementia and cancers – especially in children and near busy roads.  

More Americans die each year from vehicle emissions (58,000) than from vehicle crashes (38,000) or secondhand smoke (41,000). On average, every tank of gas burned costs $18 in health and climate costs.

Exposure to harmful toxic air pollutants from other vehicles is higher inside vehicles than outside; your vehicle is basically a “box collecting toxic gases from the vehicles around you.”

California has been ranked dead last for the last 17 of 18 years for air quality by the American Lung Association. Seventy percent of Californians live in areas with unhealthy air, much of it caused by the ozone (smog) and particle pollution from vehicle emissions. Seattle is the 15th most polluted city for short-term particle pollution.

Choosing a gas car means investing $500 to $1,000 a year in the oil industry, including the Koch Brothers and OPEC, with their powerful lobbies that support political agendas you might not favor.

We’re ready to phase out gasoline and move to cleaner alternatives.

 

Electricity is getting cleaner every year, as more of it comes from clean, renewable sources like sun and wind. Gasoline will always be a polluting fossil fuel.

The global warming emissions from an electric vehicle are less than those of a gas car, even when considered across the lifetime of the vehicle – from manufacture to disposal/reuse.

Switching to electric vehicles would move billions of dollars from crude oil (much of it imported from OPEC countries) to the domestic economy.

Electric vehicles are affordable today, and will be even more affordable in a few years. Lifetime costs for many electric vehicles are already cheaper than for gas cars, due to cheaper fuel (electricity) and less maintenance.

Tesla and Chevy electric vehicle models already get more than 200 miles per charge. The average American drives less than 40 miles a day.

Electric vehicles can be charged every night while you sleep -- no more waiting at gas stations and breathing toxic fumes.

If you have a regular household electrical outlet (110 volts) within reach of your electric vehicle, you can use it to charge at about 3 to 5 miles of range per hour.

State and federal rebates and incentives can knock $10,000 off the price of an electric vehicle ($12,000 for low-income drivers).

Electric vehicle leases can be had for $5/day, and on top of that, Californians can get a state rebate of $2,500 ($4,500 for low-income Californians).

Used electric vehicles are available in many parts of the country for $6,000 or less. (Low-income Californians can take $5,000 off the cost of a used electric vehicle, AND get free charging installed at home.)

Germany, India, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Israel and possibly China plan to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by or before 2030, Scotland by 2032, and France and the U.K. by 2040.

Switching US vehicles from gas to electric is projected to add 1.9 million American jobs by 2030.

Moving to electric vehicles from gasoline ones serves environmental justice and economic justice interests.