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New, clean transportation technology will create new jobs and provide high-paying opportunities across the state.
For almost as long as we’ve had internal combustion engines, we’ve had electricity at our fingertips. But until recently, we didn’t have the technology to make practical electric cars that produce almost no pollution.
Today, that moment has arrived, and it’s time to act on this progress.
It’s time to replace millions of fossil fuel-burning vehicles with advanced, zero-emission vehicles. And it’s time for our state’s residents, governments and businesses to fully embrace “beneficial electrification.” (Electrification happens when state residents and businesses move away from petroleum- or “dirty”-powered technology/vehicles toward more environmentally friendly sources.)
The countless benefits of electrification include cleaner air, healthier residents and billions of dollars in private investment and positive economic impact.
The issue of air pollution hits close to home in Chicago, which perennially has one of the highest levels of ozone pollution of any city in the U.S. The American Lung Association classified Chicago, where nearly 3 million people live, as the 18th most-polluted city in the country based on number of high-ozone days in 2019. That’s eight spots worse than Chicago’s rating in 2017.
This pollution means an elevated occurrence of asthma, lung cancer and other lung and heart-related illnesses for our city’s residents. Such illnesses often impact the very adults and children who are least able to cope with them: the asthma rate among high-school kids in Chicago is estimated to be 22.3%, according to the Respiratory Health Association. Nationally, that figure is about 9.4%.