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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Some Georgia Democrats are praising President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, specifically his plan to invest $174 billion for electric vehicles.

“Georgians deserve cleaner air,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry during a virtual press conference hosted by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.

The group is calling for the strengthening of U.S. clean car standards and investments in clean vehicle infrastructure and jobs.

“Without those standards, automakers will continue to make dirtier cars,” said Terry, “and we know that that pollution is going to pollute the air as well as harm our health.”

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr., said incentivizing more electric cars would curb what he calls a social and economic justice issue.

“Pollution from vehicles disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color,” said Davis. “That’s why this is so important and it’s important for us to be having these conversations.”

Opponents of federal investments for electric vehicles point out the loss of jobs if automakers move away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles. They also argue that electric cars aren’t necessarily better for the environment because it takes electricity to power the batteries – electricity that comes from power plants – most of which pollute the air from the coal used to generate electricity.

Critics also point out the environmental cost of building the batteries, which require the mining of natural resources like lithium, cobalt and nickel.

Commissioner Terry says DeKalb County is on track to expand its electric vehicle fleet to 450 vehicles over the next 5 years, something the county’s fleet manager tells him will lower maintenance costs and fuel costs.

“He says the sooner we switch over to electric vehicles, the better it’s going to be for taxpayers,” Terry said.

Terry, Davis, and other green-energy advocates plan to pressure Georgia lawmakers to pass incentives for boosting the number of electric cars on Georgia roads.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



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