Stood up. You promised that you’d be there. Last Tuesday night, I was dismayed and a bit frustrated to arrive at the AQCC (Air Quality and Control Commission) CLEAR (Colorado Low Emission Automobile Regulation) hearings at 7:15 pm to find that you had all left. My understanding was that we, the public, could submit comments from noon to 3 pm on Tuesday and again from 6-8 pm on Tuesday night. My schedule on Tuesday was full until the evening, hence my 7:15 pm arrival. You were gone. It is (UN)CLEAR to me why you solicit public input and then not honor our schedules by at least staying until the publicized conclusion time of the hearing.
The (UN)CLEAR LEV/ZEV California emission rules and regulations that you are considering forcing upon the hardworking people of Colorado will hurt the poor, the young, the old and the middle class significantly. Most of these hardworking, everyday folks have no idea that you are holding meetings to implement rules and regulations that will reduce their opportunities and options in pursuing their hopes and dreams.
Let’s think about the mobility of the underserved, single mom. If she can afford the vehicle of her choice, she is empowered to use her time more efficiently to get to work, pick up her children and do the necessary shopping to take care of her family. Forced public transit has extreme negative consequences. Her employment opportunities are limited because she must spend time waiting for a train or bus. She cannot transport her children to school, music lessons or sports practices on a bicycle. It is more difficult to transport weekly grocery items home on public transit.
What about the blue-collar tradesman who needs his truck and tools to get to his job sites so that he can work to take care of his family? These (UN)CLEAR rules and regulations increase the costs of this hardworking guy’s new pick-up truck. These (UN)CLEAR rules and regulations will also increase the costs and limit the supply of used vehicles. For our single mom, mentioned above, the costs for a used vehicle will increase because people who would normally purchase a new car or truck will decide to drive the vehicle longer due to the higher costs associated with the new vehicle thereby limiting used car supply.
Also, moving about in a personal vehicle of choice is much safer. It is scary to stand at a bus stop or on a train platform to get to an early morning job or travel home after working the night shift. We all remember how our hearts broke when we read the tragic headlines of the murder at the Sheridan Light Rail Station, an RTD transit officer shot & killed, and the triple homicide near the Broadway Light Rail Station. Plus, walking is not as safe as it used to be. A recent report from Denver Streetsblog stated that pedestrian deaths are up 75% in Colorado. It’s not fair for politicians, bureaucrats and interested parties (PBIs) to use public policy to increase the costs of people’s vehicle of choice. It is overbearing to use public policy to limit every day, hardworking Coloradans mobility choices by pushing them onto buses, trains or bicycles.
Next, the reasoning set forth by PBIs to force people out of their vehicles of choice is based on incomplete science and faulty analysis. The narrative that LEV and ZEV cars are “cleaner” is deceptive. Dr. Wayne Winegarden with Pacific Research Institute quotes a Bloomberg report stating that production of electric vehicles creates up to 74% more emissions than the production of gas-powered vehicles. Additionally, the Washington Post reports that 60% of the world’s Cobalt, which is a key ingredient in Tesla’s electric car batteries, is hand mined in the Congo. CBS reports that much of this dangerous and environmentally unfriendly work is done by children.
Plus, no one is talking about the environmental impact in the disposal of electric car batteries. Before Colorado’s AQCC forcibly implements these (UN)CLEAR rules and regulations, perhaps more scientific research should be conducted about the environmental consequences of the disposal of cobalt, lithium, manganese, nickel, and aluminum used in electric car batteries.
Implementation of (UN)CLEAR rules and regulations by Colorado’s AQCC is premature and not well thought out. I encourage you, AQCC Commissioners, to take your time, do your research and use common sense when considering forcibly implementing a policy that hurts every day, hardworking Coloradans. And, it would be nice if you honored in-person public comment.