Transition to zero-emission vehicles, power sources could prevent deaths in North Dakota, report says – InForum

BISMARCK – If the United States were to make a widespread transition to electric passenger vehicles by 2035 and electric trucks and buses by 2040, more than 130 premature deaths in North Dakota would be prevented and 1.5 billion dollars in public health benefits to the state would also be created, according to a new report from the American Lung Association.

On Wednesday, March 30, the American Lung Association released its Zeroing in on Healthy Air report, which details the effects that a widespread shift to electric vehicles and renewable, non-combustible energy could have on public health. For North Dakota, moving to zero-emission transportation and energy would prevent 133 premature deaths, 3,300 asthma attacks and 14,800 lost workdays statewide, according to the report.

According to the report, the transition to zero-emission vehicles and power generation would bring many improvements to public health, especially in low-income communities, as the transport industry is one of the main causes of air pollution in the country. According to the report, four in 10 Americans live in communities affected by high levels of air pollution.

“Fortunately, the technologies and systems are in place to make these benefits a reality, especially in the communities hardest hit by harmful pollution today,” said Jon Hunter, senior director of clean air at the American Lung Association, in a statement. “We need North Dakota leaders to act to implement equitable policies and invest in the clean air transition.”

Nationally, if all new passenger vehicles sold are zero emissions by 2035 and all new trucks and buses sold are zero emissions by 2040, the United States would generate more than 1.2 trillion dollars in health benefits, the report says.

Although the report highlighted the public health benefits North Dakota could see with a transition to electric vehicles, it did not detail

the difficulties that this change would have

for many in one of the country’s major oil-producing states. Extremely cold weather, for which harsh North Dakota winters are notorious, hampers the range of electric cars, and the large distance between cities and the state’s limited number of charging stations pose additional challenges to the viability of electric cars.

The American Lung Association, in its report, urged states to invest in the infrastructure needed for electric vehicles and develop zero-emissions standards.

“To reduce air pollution loads and disparities and to protect public health from the worst impacts of climate change, policies and investments must align with rapidly reducing and eliminating burning in (transport and energy),” the report said.

Readers can contact Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America staff member, at [email protected]

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