Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Minority-owned Southern businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic with a fund's help; President Biden says don't panic over the new COVID variant; and eye doctors gauge the risk of dying from COVID.

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U.S. Senate is back in session with a long holiday to-do list that includes avoiding a government shutdown; negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal resume; and Jack Dorsey resigns as CEO of Twitter.

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South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Report: Shift to Electric Vehicles an Economic Boon for Virginia

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021   

RICHMOND, Va. - As negotiations in Congress continue on a federal infrastructure package, a report out today predicts the American Jobs Plan's proposed $274 billion investment to support electric vehicles would boost the nation's economy and create millions of jobs.

The report said funding new charging infrastructure, manufacturing and workforce training would yield a $1.3 trillion return in private investment and almost 11 million jobs. Ryan Gallentine, policy director for electrifying transportation at Advanced Energy Economy, which put out the report, said Virginia would gain more than 93,000 jobs.

"The big takeaway here is that, for each dollar of public investment, it generates $2.60 of direct private investment," he said. "That's a good deal for consumers, it's a good deal for the U.S. economy, and it's something that should have bipartisan support through Congress."

He noted that the move to electric also would add more than $200 billion in tax revenue to federal, state and local governments. However, opponents to electric-vehicle switch have cited expensive upfront costs and concerns that battery range is limited.

Some states, such as Virginia, are beginning to tackle these issues. This year, the Commonwealth's General Assembly created an EV rebate program worth $2,500 per purchase. Gallantine added that a move to more electric transportation would significantly reduce air pollution, a serious problem especially in Northern Virginia.

"Trucks and other high-pollutant vehicles going on regular delivery routes through neighborhoods that have historically been the places where these highways go through," he said, "there's some real health benefits there, to keep folks from suffering from asthma at a higher rate."

In 2016, 485 Virginians died prematurely because of ozone and fine particulate matter emitted by cars, trucks and buses, according to a new study by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. It said more than 7,000 people died across 12 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.


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