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Axios' Joann Muller (L) and Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (R). Photo courtesy of Axios Events

President Biden's proposal to put $174 billion into zero-emission transportation is a type of "market-making investment" that would kickstart the nation's EV industry, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday during a virtual Axios event.

Why it matters: Biden's American Jobs Plan aims to invest in EV charging stations and consumer incentives to make EVs more marketable.

  • "[W]e're definitely continuing to communicate the economic potential as well as the climate potential of this ... We've just got to make sure we convey why it's important that we have an expanded view of infrastructure that isn't just building it the way we would have built it in, say, 1950," Buttigieg said.
  • Buttigieg said the administration is also "looking into" converting some of the federal government's vehicle fleet into electric vehicles.

The secretary said investing in EV development could create jobs, stating, "We're talking primarily about blue-collar jobs, not jobs that demand a college degree in order to do them."

Between the lines: Biden's pitch for EV charging stations in his infrastructure package is drawing pushback from conservatives who argue EV development is a private sector issue.

  • Buttigieg told Axios Events, "Electric vehicles can't be a luxury item if we really want to recognize that they're the future of car transportation and critically position the U.S. to be leading the world in manufacturing them with American workers with access to union jobs."

Go deeper

Axios AM Deep Dive: Inside the jobs Bonanza

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

This Deep Dive on jobs by the Axios business team looks at the incredible state of the U.S. jobs market and how employers, employees and job seekers are navigating this unprecedented moment.

Asymptotic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.