Huffman and Senators Reintroduce Legislation to Reduce Carbon Pollution of the National Highway System – The Willits News


Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-02), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), And Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) Announced today ‘ hui the planned reintroduction of the National Environmentally Outstanding and Resilient Production (GREEN) Streets Act. This legislation would set national targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the national road network and help states adapt their transport systems to the adverse effects of climate change.

The transportation sector has been the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the United States since 2016, accounting for over 28% of total emissions. Driving is the main source of these emissions, which continue to increase as people make more frequent and longer trips.

“Tackling climate change is going to mean rethinking the current model of highways and long journeys towards a model of safer, healthier and more resilient communities,” said Representative Huffman, member of the transport and infrastructure committee. “With the GREEN Streets Act, we can transform the way we measure the success of the federal transportation program and hold federal and state decision-makers accountable for reducing carbon pollution. Through innovative and green solutions, we can rebuild a better transportation sector that restores the health of our communities and advances the nation’s clean energy goals.

“The status quo is to build bad highways and destroy our planet – we can build smarter, safer and healthier systems if we factor climate impacts and emissions into our decision-making process,” he said. said Senator Markey, member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and co-author of the Green New Deal resolution. “We can advance the goals of clean energy, climate progress and healthy communities, as well as strengthen ourselves against the adverse effects of climate change. A critical part of this effort is to rethink the way we plan, build and maintain our national highway system, using climate measures that matter and ensuring that we hold systems accountable. “

“When we look to build back better and tackle climate change, our country’s roads offer us an incredible opportunity,” said Senator Carper, chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “We need to set bold goals to reduce transportation emissions and provide the public with safe, reliable and zero-emission travel choices. Our bill would set the bar for states to encourage them to reduce vehicle emissions while improving health and reducing congestion. “

A copy of the GREEN Streets Act can be found HERE.

In the Senate, the legislation is also co-sponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), And Bernard Sanders. (I-Vt.). In the House, the legislation is also co-sponsored by Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Bill Foster (IL-11) and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13).

Even with the completion of the interstate highway system, the federal transportation agenda is particularly focused on highway expansion, rewarding the states that expand highways the most with more federal funding. With federally subsidized roads, communities are struggling to stay ahead of development that stretches further from the center of metropolitan areas, forcing people to travel further to access jobs and opportunities. services. The growth in driving and the resulting congestion results in a demand for more roads, resulting in even more driving and even more emissions.

To address these issues, the GREEN Streets Act specifically:

Orders the Secretary of Transportation to establish minimum standards that states must use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle kilometers per capita (VMT) on the national road network;
Directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish measures that states can use to assess and reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions on the national highway system;

Demands that states that do not comply with VMT per capita standards or measures of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emissions allocate federal funding to highways to comply;
Demands that states and metropolitan planning organizations (DFOs) consider projects and strategies that reduce VMT per capita and greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector; and
Requires States and DFOs to publish an impact analysis on VMT per capita and greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources for each project that adds new pathways or otherwise increases traffic capacity and costs more than $ 25 million.

“Our transportation system gives many Americans no choice but to drive everywhere, which is not surprising as our transportation program is designed to only consider the speed of vehicles, not whether people (driving, taking public transport, walking, riding or cycling) reach their destination. We need to measure what matters, ”said Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America. “This will help give Americans more freedom to choose how to get around, save them money, and reduce the harmful emissions that are wreaking havoc on our climate.” We hope the new GREEN Streets Act will pick up an important conversation about aligning federal funding with the results we deserve from our transportation system, and we’re delighted to support it.

“To tackle toxic air pollution and climate change, we need to move to a transport system built for the future, one that reduces our dependence on cars and offers a multitude of opportunities to get around.” , said Ann Shikany, a federal activist. to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “By urging states to come up with plans to reduce vehicle kilometers traveled, this legislation is a critical first step towards a progressive and clean transportation future.”

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