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            december 10, 2019

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Bernie Sanders wants US to invest in renewable energy for transportation


US Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has unveiled a plan to invest US$216 billion in replacing all long-haul diesel trucks with fast-charging electric trucks, if he becomes the most powerful man in the world.
The proposal is part of Mr Sanders $16.3 trillion "Green New Deal", which outlines an ambitious goal for the US of achieving 100 per cent renewable energy for transportation by 2030 and complete decarbonisation by 2050, reported New York's FreightWaves.
"Because this nation depends heavily on goods that are shipped all over the country by truckers, we must ensure that they are able to keep up their pace while we meet our climate goals," Mr Sanders was quoted as saying. "Truck drivers from the largest fleets to small owner-operators will be able to access this funding."
He went on to say: "We will create domestic energy alternatives to power our cars and trucks and move our transportation sector beyond oil by running our cars and trucks on renewable sources."
According to Mr Sanders' plan, the nation "will build affordable, reliable, quick and efficient public transportation, and high-speed passenger and cargo rail. And we will create millions of good-paying, unionised jobs building the automobile fleet of the future."
Mr Sanders has lifted the name for his environmental strategy from the "Green New Deal" presented in a "non-binding resolution" earlier this year in the US Congress by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts). The resolution seeks to overhaul "transportation systems in the US to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as technologically feasible," through investments in zero-emission vehicles and high-speed rail.
Their plan, which also sets a zero emissions target of 2050, has been called unrealistic by Republicans in Congress and conservatives, although some in the freight transportation sector have acknowledged the economic opportunities behind striving for zero-emissions.
To ensure that the transportation networks are safe, Mr Sanders would provide $5 billion for competitive grants to build or repair critical pieces of the infrastructure located in rural areas.
Mr Sanders also asserts that his plan would pay for itself over 15 years, to be accomplished by "making the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution, through litigation, fees and taxes, and eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies".
His plan would generate revenue through energy sales from the regional power authorities. "Revenues will be collected from 2023-2035, and after 2035 electricity will be virtually free, aside from operations and maintenance costs."

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