Michelle Pierce, an EV advocate and mom, offered this moving plea to the California Air Resources Board at their mid-term review of the Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate. Reprinted here with permission from the author. Watch the meeting’s broadcast archive here. Michelle Pierce’s remarks begin at approximately 3:05.
When I moved to Orange County from out of state in late spring 1979, I kept getting lost on the freeways. Friends kept telling me to get my bearings, remember the mountains are north. I kept looking at them confused – mountains – what mountains??
About 8 months later, after some heavy rain, I finally saw the mountains, and they were beautiful.
The smog was always so bad back then, the mountains were hardly ever visible. Thanks in part to emissions restrictions, that is no longer the case.
In 1989 I moved to the Inland Empire when my youngest daughter was less than a year old. I felt a lot of guilt for that move when she developed asthma. We could literally see the smog roll in from Los Angeles throughout the day. My older girls had to forgo recess and outside activities on those days the smog was deemed unhealthy. It happened a lot when they were younger, but over the years they happened less frequently.
We all know that the Southern California region has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country. The emissions from all that traffic causes so much health problems to everyone. Placing restrictions on emissions reduces the brown air and the health problems.
The easiest way to reduce emissions is to drive zero emission vehicles. The requirements that California has developed over the years to ensure reduced emissions has had a positive effect not only in California but across the country and even the world. More countries are developing zero emission vehicle requirements due to the advances in technology developed because of what California started.
Please do not regress in this fight. If zero emission policy is abandoned or emission requirements are relaxed, the air will once again be brown every day and overall health of residents will decline. If we lose sight of California’s zero emission goals we will also fall behind in technological advancements that countries like China are developing.
I drive a 2012 Nissan Leaf. It is so fun to drive. It is quiet and fast off a stop. When I first got my car, there were not a lot of choices. Thanks to all the progressive California rules there are many zero emission vehicles available now, and more developed all the time. Please keep moving forward, don’t go backwards.