SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, announced today that her Assembly Bill 735, which stops the use of child labor in the supply chains of electric vehicles, failed in the Assembly Transportation Committee.
“Capitol Democrats are placing the burdens of reaching environmental goals using electric vehicles on the backs of children,” said Melendez. “There are over 500,000 electric vehicles on our roads today powered by ‘dirty’ batteries made from the labor of children of the Congo.”
AB 735 would ensure that child labor is not a part of any of the supply chains for vehicles meeting California’s robust emission standards. Every electric vehicle contains a lithium-ion battery comprised of cobalt. Primarily found in the Congo, hundreds of thousands work with small tools and in harsh conditions. A sizable portion of these workers are children – some as young as 6 years old.
“The electrical energy solutions of the future must not be built on human rights abuses,” said Ron Stein P.E., Ambassador and Founder for Energy & Infrastructure, who provided testimony in support of AB 735.
“In driving this environmental dream the Democrats are fueling their environmental policies on the backs of these poor children,” Melendez said. “When members place environmental goals before kids something is incredibly wrong. We should be showing the nation that our growing fleet of electric vehicles comes with a guarantee that our state is not subsidizing child labor.”
Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester. Follow her on Twitter: @asmMelendez