Environmental Group Supports Bipartisan Transportation Bill to Cut Greenhouse Gas Pollution

March 12, 2009
Sean Crowley, 202-572-3331, scrowley@edf.org
Dan Cronin, 202-572-3354, dcronin@edf.org 


(Washington, D.C. – March 12, 2009) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) praised a bipartisan group of lawmakers today for introducing legislation to ensure that future state and metropolitan area transportation plans protect the climate and enhance energy security.


Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced The Clean, Low-Emission, Affordable, New Transportation Efficiency Act (CLEAN-TEA) last night.  Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) introduced CLEAN-TEA (H.R. 1329) in the House last week.


The bill proposes to take 10 percent of the revenue from a future cap-and-trade climate program and use it to fund a Low Greenhouse Gas Transportation Fund. The fund would finance planning and implementation of environmentally friendly transportation projects to cut congestion and increase travel options.  For many years, transportation has been the second largest and among the fastest-growing contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in America.


“We salute these congressional leaders for understanding that — unless we link our efforts to protect the climate with efforts to cut congestion — we will not solve either problem,” said Michael Replogle, a Department of Transportation (DOT) adviser and Transportation Director at EDF. “This legislation reverses a long-term trend of transportation policies that encouraged growth in greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation should contribute proportionately to other sectors in solving the climate change crisis.” 


The Low Greenhouse Gas Transportation Fund created by the bill would provide money to state, regional, and local governments, favoring investments in programs that produce higher per capita emission reductions.  Potential projects that could be funded include transit, passenger and freight rail, biking and pedestrian improvements, vanpools, smart traffic management and congestion pricing, and land use changes to make communities more walkable.