By Destiny Rodriguez
When I think of banks, I don’t think of these institutions as supporting pollution-free transportation or lowering greenhouse gas emissions and improving local air quality. However, Beneficial State bank is doing all three of these things by promoting clean vehicles in the Fresno area and throughout the Central Valley.
On June 11, 2019, Beneficial State bank invited me to attend their electric vehicle (EV) charging station ribbon cutting. The bank installed 10 new (EV) chargers available to the public. This project was funded by CALeVIP through the California Energy Commission. Center for Sustainable Energy manages the program locally.
The ribbon cutting garnered interest and attendance from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, local nonprofits, businesses, government and environmentalists alike. Supervisor Buddy Mendes spoke in support of this change sweeping across the nation, and how Fresno is now getting on board. Beneficial State bank is hopeful their example will lead to other business institutions offering (EV) charging for the area.
“It takes a village to produce an electric vehicle ecosystem, there are a lot of moving parts here. It is not enough to just have the vehicles, we have to have the charging infrastructure so that everyone can benefit from electric transportation,” said Patty Monahan, Commissioner for the California Energy Commission.
Community Choice Energy could essentially help this effort for the Central Valley, as it also promotes clean energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to overall improve our air quality. It is inspiring to see these changes as a resident, and I am hopeful for what this means for our valley.
While these local efforts are key, state efforts are probably even more important. At the Center for Climate Protection, we are working to build a coalition to usher in a clean car revolution via sound policy at the state level. We were encouraged to see that the California Air Resources Board may be allocating money to creating a plan to transform our transportation system to all-electric vehicles at the speed necessary to meet our state greenhouse gas emission goals.
With both local and state efforts, we are optimistic that together we can implement the policies we need to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and at the same time, build a thriving green economy that serves everyone.