Transportation for America applauds new emissions rule, “a vital first step”

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In response to the USDOT’s newly proposed rule for states and municipalities to track and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Transportation for America Director Beth Osborne offered this statement:

The Biden administration took an important step today in holding states to account for their transportation emissions. This proposed rule will provide sunlight and accountability on how our tax dollars are being spent and the results of our investments, including the $643 billion approved for transportation in last year’s infrastructure law. 

To create a more efficient, less polluting transportation system, we have to start by measuring the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, and then set targets for reducing them. States have enormous flexibility in how they spend federal taxpayer dollars, but there is little accountability to push them to meet federal goals. Today’s action by the administration will be critical to shedding light on state emissions and arming advocates, decision-makers, and taxpayers with the information they need.  

This is also an achievable task for states. 24 states (plus the District of Columbia) already measure emissions from transportation in some form.

This is a vital first step, but there is still more the administration can and should do. We urge the USDOT to be bold and consider state progress on these new emissions goals when awarding discretionary grant funding, particularly for projects related to emissions reduction like the Carbon Reduction Program. 

State DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) will now have the opportunity to set decreasing emissions targets, and they should not drag their feet in doing so. We stand ready to help them succeed.

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