TRENTON, NJ (SBN) – A nationwide transition to clean, zero-emission vehicles would have a dramatic impact on the air quality and health of New Jersey residents, according to a new report by the American Lung Association. The “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report, released today, reveals that a widespread transition to vehicles powered by clean electricity generation would result in up to 3,960 avoided deaths and $43.6 billion in public health benefits here in New Jersey.
In fact, two metro areas that include New Jersey counties are ranked in the top 25 metro areas that would benefit most from the transition to zero-emission electric vehicles. The New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA ranked 2nd and the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD ranked 5th of the top 25 to benefit.
SBN News Director Steve Lubetkin spoke exclusively with report author Will Barrett, national director of advocacy, clean air, for the American Lung Association. You can watch the conversation in this video player. (Closed captions are available for the deaf and hard of hearing by clicking the “CC” button on the video player.)
“Zeroing in on Healthy Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to a zero-emission transportation sector over the coming decades. The report illustrates the potential health and climate benefits if all new passenger vehicles sold are zero-emission by 2035 and all new trucks and buses sold are zero-emission by 2040. The report projects that the nation’s electric grid will be powered by clean, non-combustion electricity replacing dirty fossil fuels by 2035.
Nationally, a widespread transition to electric vehicles powered by clean electricity would generate more than $1.2 trillion in health benefits and $1.7 trillion in additional climate benefits by 2050. Here in New Jersey, the transition would generate $43.6 billion in public health benefits and result in up to:
- 3,960 avoided deaths
- 92,400 avoided asthma attacks
- 464,000 avoided lost workdays
“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said Michael Seilback, National AVP, Public Policy, at the American Lung Association. “Thankfully, the technologies and systems are in place to make these benefits a reality, especially in communities most impacted by harmful pollution today. We need our state leaders to act to implement equitable policies and invest in the transition to healthy air today. This is an urgent health issue for millions of people in the U.S. Especially as our state faces the impacts of climate change such as extreme heat, and high-tide and coastal flooding, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health and our future.”
Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation and electricity generation contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and premature deaths. These are sources of health disparities in lower-income communities and communities of color, both in terms of exposure to harmful air and the associated health consequences.
Achieving these major benefits to our health and our climate will require dedicated and sustained leadership. Investment at all levels of government, and public education and engagement will ensure the transition to zero-emission vehicles provides clean air for everyone.
For more information about “Zeroing in on Healthy Air,” visit Lung.org/EV.
Steve Lubetkin is the news director for StateBroadcastNews.com. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. He refocused on multimedia journalism and podcast production after a long career in corporate branded journalism and public relations.
He has won numerous awards for his audio and video news reporting from the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced a wide range of audio and video podcasts in his other role as managing partner of State Broadcast News’s parent, The Lubetkin Media Companies.
Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional.
In March 2021, he was elected to the board of directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in July 2021 he was named secretary of the chapter. In August 2021, he was honored by SPJ with one of the organization’s 2021 Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Awards, given to regular members of an SPJ chapter who go above and beyond in serving their chapter.
Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996.
Steve also has reported on-camera and produces virtual conferences for NJSpotlightNews.org, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC.
From May-November 2019, he produced and reported a weekly podcast, The CRE News Hour, a news and features program focusing on the commercial real estate industry.
From 2014 to 2019 he was New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com and filled in covering Chicago/Midwest and Atlanta.
Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies.
Earlier in his career, Steve reported on rock music at the Jersey Shore for the Asbury Park Press, and was a broadcast news anchor and production engineer for WJLK-AM & FM, then owned by the Press. He also worked as a general assignment reporter for the Red Bank Register, Shrewsbury, NJ.
You can email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.