Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
2009 Transportation Bill

Cardin & Carper Bullish on Transit’s Prospects in Senate Climate Bill

Addressing a climate change forum this morning, two Democrats on the Senate environment committee said they are pushing for transit and other green modes of transport to get 10 percent of the revenue generated by the upcoming Senate bill regulating carbon emissions.

1_P1010826m.jpgSen. Tom Carper (D-DE) (Photo: DTI)

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), a chief sponsor of the 10-percent plan,  said he and other supporters have "asked for it to be included in" the climate bill that environment panel chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is slated to unveil in September. "If not, we will offer it as an amendment."

Carper predicted that Boxer would be receptive to giving transit a larger slice of the carbon cap-and-trade pie than the 1 percent it received in the climate bill recently passed by the House.

"She fully understands the fact that we can't get from here
to there [on emissions] without addressing transportation," Carper told
Streetsblog Capitol Hill.

The transit proposal, also known as "CLEAN TEA," would shift the climate revenue into a fund that states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) could tap to help pay for expansion or construction of clean transport infrastructure -- from new transit to bike paths to freight rail and beyond.

The money would be disbursed based on which states and MPOs produce long-term plans to reduce emissions from transportation.

Asked if it would be difficult to find middle ground between the House climate bill's transport language and "CLEAN TEA," Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) had an ready answer: Go with his plan.

"I think 10 percent's right," Cardin told Streetsblog Capitol Hill.

The climate bill is sure to face a rocky road in the Senate, where GOP support is scant at best and Democrats from the industrial midwest could defect on a final vote. With that in mind, Carper said it would be "ideal" -- but not required -- for President Obama to sign the legislation into law by the time the Copenhagen climate conference begins in December.

If passage before Copenhagen proves impossible, Carper said, a statement of intent could be projected by both the House and Senate approving separate climate plans that would then be merged in early 2010.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Tuesday’s Headlines Are Running Hard

More political news: Today's top stories delve into Kamala Harris' record on climate change and Republicans' plans for the Trump administration if he returns to power.

July 23, 2024

Disabled NYer’s are Victims of Gov. Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause

So many New Yorkers can’t use the closest subway station to their homes because they don't have an elevator. And Gov. Hochul just halted funding for 23 new lifts.

July 23, 2024

State DOTs Could Fuel a Resurgence in Intercity Bus Travel

Private equity firms are killing off intercity bus companies. Will public agencies fill in the gaps?

July 23, 2024

GOP’s ‘Project 2025’ is ‘Based on a Lot of Ignorance’

What does Transportation for America's Beth Osborne think of the transportation portion of the Heritage Foundation's playbook for a Trump presidency?

July 23, 2024

What a Surprise! Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause Helps Rich Suburban Drivers

Gov. Hochul's "little guys" certainly have big wallets. Meanwhile, the rest of us suffer with declining subway service and buses that are slower than walking. Thanks, Kathy.

July 22, 2024
See all posts