Washington, DC – The latest version of the Senate climate-protection bill put forth by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, would provide significant resources and incentives to communities to plan and build cleaner, more convenient travel and living options.
The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) would set aside an average of 2.4 percent of revenues generated by the Act each year to help states and metropolitan areas reduce greenhouse gas emissions as they grow and change in the years to come. Half of the funds would support a competitive grants program for transportation projects and smart growth strategies that help reduce emissions and the planning needed to better account for and curb emissions. The other half would support the expansion of public transportation.
“That the Senate mark more than doubles the amount the House bill would dedicate to clean transportation options represents major progress for communities across America,” said Geoff Anderson, president of Smart Growth America and co-chair of the Transportation for America coalition. “Senators Boxer and John Kerry (D-MA) the primary authors, deserve enormous credit for recognizing the role that reduced transportation emissions must play, and for including measures that will help create affordable options as oil supplies tighten and fuel prices rise in the years ahead.”
The Act substantially incorporates language from a separate bill known as CLEAN-TEA, sponsored by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) and co-sponsored by senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bill Nelson (D-FL). The CLEAN-TEA sponsors’ support was critical in securing meaningful transportation provisions in the Senate bill.
“Transportation contributes nearly one-third of the total annual climate-harming emissions in the U.S., and has to be a key part of the solution,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America. “S. 1733 contains common-sense policies and funding that promise cleaner, safer and more affordable transportation options for all Americans, and will help create green jobs. As the bill moves through the Senate and the understanding of the importance of clean transportation grows, our coalition hopes to see a funding level closer to 5 percent of revenues. We urge members of the Senate to unite behind this essential legislation.”
This has been released jointly with TRANSPORTATION FOR AMERICA, a broad coalition of housing, environmental, equal opportunity, public health, urban planning, transportation and other organizations focused on creating a 21st century national transportation program. The coalition’s goal is to build a modernized infrastructure and healthy communities where people can live, work and play by aligning national, state, and local transportation policies with an array of issues like economic opportunity, climate change, energy security, health, housing and community development. www.t4america.org