T4 America pens letter in support of climate bill with robust clean transportation investmentApril 12, 2010
By Transportation for America
Last week, Transportation for America joined more than 40 organization to urge climate legislation that includes robust investment in clean transportation. Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman are currently in negotiations over a climate bill that could subject the transportation sector to an emissions cap. Emissions that exceed the cap would be subject to a carbon permit, which would generate new revenues.
In the letter, T4 America and dozens of other groups conveyed concern that, absent a new clean energy framework, these revenues would simply subsidize an unsustainable status quo. We wrote:
There are several mechanisms through which such investments could be made. However, because our federal transportation policy does not currently support oil savings or greenhouse gas reduction, we have deep concerns about proposals to deposit funds from sales of carbon permits in the Highway Trust Fund without additional policies to direct those funds toward transportation projects that advance our climate and energy goals.
The letter also addressed the enormous strain that transportation costs have placed on the average American household, and urged a reorientation of transportation priorities so that cheaper and cleaner options can develop.
Providing some level of direction consumer rebates within your bill may be one way to address transportation costs. However, it is even more important to invest in essential public infrastructure and technology that will create jobs now and save Americans money on transportation costs in the long term, including strategies such as expanded public transportation, vehicle electrification, and complete streets. A robust portion of the revenue generated by your legislation should be invested in such transportation technology and infrastructure.
Co-signatories on the letter included the ALF-CIO, Amtrak, American Public Health Association, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Fund, U.S. PIRG, Transportation Equity Network and the Complete Streets Coalition.
You can read the entire letter here.