Petition: Support a Climate Bill That Invests in Green Transportation

At the end of March, representatives Henry Waxman and Ed Markey introduced an ambitious federal climate bill. This is the real deal — the legislative centerpiece of President Obama’s effort to combat global warming. Transportation contributes about a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., so any climate bill will have to green the way we get around to be effective. On that score, however, the draft legislation has some glaring omissions.

It includes tougher national emissions standards for vehicles and incentives to develop plug-in hybrid infrastructure, but no funding for transit or more walkable development. There’s already a proposal circulating in Congress to link a cap-and-trade system with investment in transit and smart growth — the CLEAN TEA bill. Parts of CLEAN TEA have been incorporated into the Waxman/Markey bill, but not the core provision to dedicate 10 percent of the revenue from carbon auctions to green transportation projects.

That could change. Transportation for America is gathering signatures urging Congress to beef up the provisions for sustainable transportation in the climate bill. Adding the CLEAN TEA funding mechanism would translate to about $8 billion per year, based on the Obama administration’s projection for annual revenue from carbon auctions. Waxman’s committee will begin making changes to the bill on Monday, so now is time to sign on and speak up for stronger legislation.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

White House Staying Quiet For Now on Transit’s Role in Climate Bill

|
Delivering his climate-change message to Congress yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned that fuel-efficiency advances secured by the Obama administration would not be enough to reduce emissions from transportation — not without encouraging Americans to drive less. Transportation Secretary LaHood said today he’ll weigh in later on climate-change money for transit. (Photo: HillBuzz) But when […]

The ‘Elitism’ Trap Migrates From Transport Reform to Climate Change

|
Transportation debates have a terminology all their own, whether arcane ("multi-modal"), hard to define ("subsidies"), or outright misleading — as is the case with "elitism," the standard line that road-building acolytes often apply to those who suggest that the government focus more on expanding transit and other forms of clean transport. Climate bill coauthors: Reps. […]

5 Down, 5 to Go: Plan Linking Transit to Climate Bill Wins Sponsors

|
Streetsblog Capitol Hill reported this week that the Obama administration — which often talks about reducing transportation-based emissions — is staying mum on a bill that would devote a guaranteed share of revenues from carbon regulation to transit, bike paths, and other green modes of transport. But that doesn’t mean the proposal, otherwise known as […]