Monday, June 22, 2009

New Federal Transportation Bill Connects Needed Reforms to Fighting Climate Change

/PRNewswire/ -- Implementing the goals and reforms of the $450 billion transportation reauthorization bill, if accompanied by real accountability and performance measures, will move America's transportation system in a direction that supports our national economic, energy, and environmental goals, according to Environmental Defense Fund.

The bill, formally called The Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009, was introduced today by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN), and cosponsored by the top ranking GOP member on the Committee John Mica (R-FL), Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and the top ranking GOP member of the Subcommittee John Duncan (R-TN).

"Chairman Oberstar, Chairman DeFazio, and Ranking Members Mica and Duncan have put forward a clear vision for transportation policy that shines a spotlight on both environmental and economic sustainability," said Environmental Defense Fund's Climate and Infrastructure Policy Director Colin Peppard. "Their vision seeks to reduce the substantial greenhouse gas pollution produced by the transportation sector, supporting ongoing efforts to fight climate change by capping carbon emissions."

"However, more work needs to be done to ensure that these forward-thinking goals are fully supported by the policies, programs, and funding laid out in this critical piece of legislation," concluded Peppard. "Questions remain as to whether state and local governments will truly be held accountable for delivering better transportation, economic, and environmental performance. Environmental Defense Fund is looking forward to working with the leadership and members of the Transportation Committee to craft a bill that will yield the concrete results and performance that justify an increased investment of taxpayer dollars in our nation's transportation infrastructure."

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