Sec. Buttigieg, White House climate adviser deliver remarks
WATCH: Sec. Buttigieg, White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy deliver remarks on electric vehicles. https://abcn.ws/3tJwxwO
Diesel transit views and it will establish grant programs for state governments and the private sector to build a new national network of 500 thousand EV Chargers by 2030, The American jobs Plan is a win win for workers and for the environment. and with your help we're going to seize this once in a generation opportunity to spark an electric vehicle revolution and build a new future for American transportation and to tell you exactly how we're going to make that happen. I have the pleasure now of turning it over to White House national climate adviser Gina. Mccarthy Thank you Mister Secretary and Happy Earth Day everybody. and I want to just thank Secretary Buddha judge for all of his tremendous work for his leadership. I'm excited to be sharing Earth Day with him as well as with my good friend. Kathy Zoe, who has been in the energy efficiency renewable energy and clean energy world for as long as I've known her and and look she's still is in that world. So I'm excited about it, You know as a secretary. I mentioned union station is a hub for all kinds of transportation and that includes the transportation of the future. I'm excited to see these new EV Chargers here at the station and to get a chance to talk about how we're building up our charging infrastructure for the future right here in the United States while we're creating millions of jobs, look, the fact is creating jobs and addressing climate change are not. Contrary ideas they actually go together hand in hand and when I stood next to President Biden while he signed executive orders to make sure that we tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad, he declared very loudly and very convincingly and clearly that in his white House climate change what day was jobs day right every time. We think about climate we think about growing jobs right here in the United States of America and not just any jaws but good paying union jobs and in some way from from me and my team every day since January 20th has been climate day Earth Day Jobs Day and every week has been infrastructure week and innovation Week. It's been very busy. We have an enormous opportunity to not only address the threats of climate change, but to use it as a chance to create those millions of good paying union jobs that are going to fuel our economic recovery that are going to rebuild the middle class in the United States and build our country back better stronger more sustainable Healthier fairer and more equitable one of the key pieces of president Biden's American jobs plan is super charging pun intended America's ability to get more Evs. On the road and make them affordable for families and install charging stations and convenient places like the ones that you are seeing today, we're proposing a 15 billion. 15 billion dollars investment that will help build up a national network of 500 thousand charging stations across America's highways and roads and at transit centers like Union station. This is just one of the key. It's an American jobs plan, but it is a critical one because transportation is one of the backbones of our economy. not just because of cars, but because of the parks that we can make that go into those cars the manufacturing supply chain we can recapture to make the EVs and the charging infrastructure stations of the future right here in America to install right. Here in America for many families, cars are essential getting to work driving the kids to soccer games going on road trips, and why reducing emissions from these vehicles is absolutely essential if we actually expect to address the challenge of climate change and in this country and as you can see with secretaries Carey's leadership summit the world is expecting that we will address climate change and we're going to do it in ways that ensure US competitiveness and new industries and making electric. And charging affordable and accessible to everyone and look these autos are coming. We know it it is the future. I'm not talking about it, the auto manufacturers started it They came to us and said electric vehicles are our future and we know that that is the case and we have to win back the future for the United States of America as recently as 2010, they were basically no plug. Models available. but there are now 100 thousand public charging, but it's not nearly enough The EV future is growing folks. it is growing quickly. This means we have to build up our infrastructure. very fast and we have to work with the utilities automakers state and local governments to make the plans and the investments that we need to build in. Charges and EVs all across America so that drivers can know they're going to get where they need to go and get back home again The federal government is also leading on Evs. We want to make sure that our actions align with our ambitions. That's why we're so excited to be here today and announce early progress in using the power of the federal procurement process to unlock the potential of a. Petrifying and cleaning US fleets the US government owns one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world so President Biden did the smart thing, he said. Hey, federal agencies. Why don't we move your fleets to clean and zero emission vehicles as quickly as we possibly can it means we're showing what our values are in this country and it's showing how smart we are about capturing. And winning that future and we are going to ensure that we retain union jobs as an integral part of building running and maintaining these fleets for the United States of America, one of our key partners in this endeavor is the general services. Administration, which both procure and manages the federal fleet and deploys the charging infrastructure that we need. I want to thank. SA acting administrator Kathy Kale right there Thanks Kathy for being here with us today and for all of our team for all of their tremendous leadership. This is just the start folks and these are just the initial steps that we are going to take to get the federal fleet on a path to net zero. That's what the president expects. That's what we are all going to deliver so let me close by reiterating what brings me to this work and it's Joe Biden's unwavering. Focus on people even when we talk about climate change, it is not about the planet. It's about people. It's about our future Our kids It's an unwavering focus on the air that we breathe and our public health the strength of how we can build our communities and make sure we are grabbing environmental justice as we move forward. It's what we value. It's what we care about and we have to. It's about the dignity that comes with good work and the jobs that we can create the millions of jobs to put everybody back to work. It's the way we keep working together to find renewed hope as well as opportunity you know after all this day is all about investing in America and winning the future for our kids. That's why we're here Earth Day Jobs Day. Every day, thanks for being here and now Secretary Buddha and I will take a few questions from the press if you happen to have it. Dave Shepard for us. Hey good. Thank you the plan that you've laid out. I think about how I take it a little bit look at the the plan calls for 100 billion dollars in consumer rebates to help spur e purchases. Can you tell us are you going to increase the $7500 rebate expanded or you know somehow? well? Those are the that's the kind of analysis that we're doing now Mister secretary unless he has new news, you know we just want to. Sure that we're putting money on the table and working with Congress to help us deliver it to make sure that everybody has access to these vehicles if they are the future, we shouldn't expect people to be left behind and that's part of the reason why we're working so hard to make sure that it's not just consumer rebates, but we're working with the industry itself, making sure that they're they're hiring union workers paying paying them a good salary, keeping them safe at the workplace. You know this is about. I think Joe Biden's values it's about him recognizing that work is important and our workers have to be put in a safe and profitable environment if we ever expect to have the kind of productivity to capture these types of markets. and there's some studies that suggest you need at least 50% of US sales by 2030 to be EVs to meet these climate goals. Do you do you agree with that stat and does the president? will he commit to? Ending gasoline powered vehicle sales by a day like 2035, I've heard a lot of the manufacturers are talking about delivering 100% EVs by 2035. We're not making any promises and we're not making any demands. Because this is about basically using the market to generate the kind of productions we need and no we have not landed on a particular number that we need in terms of reduction from the in the entire sector or or through the use of and production of Evs. We have a whole lot of ways to get fifty to 52, which for those who may not be as smart as Dave might not know. That is what we just announced is a nationally determined contribution is to get to fifty. Reduction from a baseline of 2005 by 2030 so that we get actually once again lead the world in this effort to address the climate crisis. Would you like? Yeah quick question about Republicans are floating this idea that you need drivers should have to pay some sort of fee because they're not paying gas taxes because they're not using gasoline. What's your position on that? And what do you think of that idea that include Yeah again the the American jobs plan comes with its own pay for we're interested in hearing other ideas, but it was important to the president that this piece St. In a way that did not add to the national debt, which is why it's fully paid for with the corporate tax reforms and by year sixteen, it's actually serving to reduce the debt. Remember the president made a promise that he takes very seriously that we're not going to put forward any plan that involves increasing the tax burden on Americans making less than $400000 a year. So that's the starting point and that would be a consideration for any kind of revenue model that we see a follow up on that. You what do you say to taxpayers who say I don't think I should have to pay for the charging infrastructure of the country. What is the expectation of the auto industry that would be benefiting from that infrastructure? Well director McCarthy might have some thoughts as well. What what I would say is that there has to be a both and it's not enough to simply allow things to unfold at their own pace if we do that, America might be outpaced by countries that are not afraid to take proactive policy steps to build out that. Market I would liken it to the aviation sector where, of course we have a flourishing private sector of private companies, but if it were not for choices that were made in the new deal, Era, for example to use public dollars to expand the network of airports where they might not have been built. otherwise we would not have the robust aviation sector we had today, so it's not a question of all EV or even most EV charging infrastructure being developed or certainly you know not being owned and operated. By a government, but it is a question of making sure we have enough of a policy push to make sure those market making steps happen. That's what it'll take to place America and keep America number one in Evs I should have identified myself. Sorry, Ben Tracy from CBS. We've talked on zoom what is the expectation of the auto industry to to chip in for some of this infrastructure? we'll have to wait and see but clearly I'm I'm totally with Secretary Buddha judge in this is that it was never really. Intended to be a government-run and a government funded for everything. This is all about doing what government does is. You say the direction that you think the world is going to head you begin to invest in it You've developed partnership with the private sector you figure out how to move it forward and that's what's going to happen here. so I think as soon as as people who are ambitious and want to open up a new company or want to get a job with a thriving one gets the idea that we're actually going to. Be serious about climate we're going to shift to Evs. They're going to see that for too many years we've been outsourcing these types of new technologies to other countries to manufacture and manage it is time for those people to recognize that the America is open for this business and we want that business here and we want those workers and especially with access to unions right here. You know it tells me a different title. This This is really interesting. I like I wasn't sure I don't know what my title is either. So it's so good. I'm dino Grandon. Washington Post Nice to meet you. Yeah we've seen today South Africa, Japan come out with their own wretched up nationally determined commitments, but not a lot of other countries. Were you expecting more countries to come out with their commitments under the climate accord today? Yeah, I think the expectation today was that the United States would put a strong nationally determined contribution on the table. So that we would have an ability to gather people together again and say the United States is back. That's what we did, but it is it is a road to Glasgow that we're looking to actually have the kind of time and concerted conversations that will hopefully lead to a really strong opportunity when we get to Glasgow in November, so we're not at all disappointed we we we got the leaders to come together even if it was on zoom we've had we actually. A lot of countries that stepped up to the plate we expect a lot more but we have been here just short of 100 days. so I think we're we're pretty much on track to putting our stake in the ground and saying that with in joining back with other countries and saying that there's no more time to waste this coming decade is where we we make a break it on climate in terms of how committed we are if we actually want to stay at levels that science demands. And one follow up there a few different independent analysts have taken a look at the commitment that the US is making fifty to 52% and they're saying that that isn't going to be good enough to reach that 1.5° Celsius goal. What do you say to that? well the the president's goal has stated the number of goals and let me be very clear, He stated a goal that we want to get clean electricity by 2035 so part of this will be pushing on the utility sector so that we can make sure that we achieve that and we don't think it's going to be a. Push because they've been marching towards renewable energy as the least. electricity producing and so we we should be heading in the right. we're heading in the right direction. We want to get there. He's also identified net zero by 2050 as a commitment that is that he is going to make it's a goal he has set and so there is no suggestion that I would like to make to you. that says we're going to achieve. Of that in 2030, and I'm also going to say that I don't think we fell short of expectations to be aggressive. The the number we put on the table was doable, but it is ambitious and we can't be anything less than that. We can't be any less than that if we actually want to address climate change and so I'm pretty comfortable with the number I know there's lots of ways that we can get to it. I also know that when when countries like the United States that are very serious set of. We tend to go well beyond it because the private sector he is it. they think about how do I make money on it and they run. I love that it's called capitalism at its finest one more time for one more question. One on speaking of electric vehicles, it's a little off the subject, but as you know, there have been a series of of Autopilot crashes and there's a crash in Texas that left two people dead, which police think there was no one in the driver's seat. Can you talk about what the agency is doing to look into those crashes? Yeah. So safety is our number one priority as a department so as you might expect, we're following this very closely matter of fact it has a team doing an investigation of this as well as being in touch with law enforcement and. The automaker still gathering facts and information, but I do think this is an important time to stress that a lot of automated driver assistance systems continue to depend on the expectation of an attentive driver behind the wheel, but we'll continue to see what's going on in this case and then looking forward, we'll have safety as the the fundamental North star in all of our policy design. Thanks everybody appreciate it. Thanks. It's the secretary of us. Yeah, I'm usually on the screen. It's. Across the country. The money is great. Well, we gotta be, but we don't need to do it. You know we don't speak for the dog. We can say this. There's so much creativity. That's why I think that. It's a transformation that we did this with the like we said. We're there. Solo on a lot and we did it in like an hour. or It's so if you guys can help build a bridge. It is a very rare car company that I thought, and that wasn't that wasn't true 3 years ago. That's true. That's not true. It's the most exciting development. the legacy. This is just a startup thing.