The Future of Transportation

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 24 May 2022 15:00:00 GMT

Please join the Center for American Progress for a virtual event on the future of mobility. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will join CAP President and CEO Patrick Gaspard for a conversation about Michigan’s progress in developing pro-business, pro-worker, and pro-climate mobility initiatives. White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy will deliver remarks on President Joe Biden’s plan to reduce emissions, and a panel of experts and advocates will discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in decarbonizing transportation.

Mobility bridges the gap between economic opportunity and the environment. It creates well-paying jobs, lowers costs for families, and tackles climate change. In just three years, Michigan has created more than 21,600 well-paying auto jobs, and auto companies and suppliers have invested millions of dollars into the state as part of an industrywide pivot to vehicle electrification.

Gov. Whitmer has made unique progress in supporting mobility initiatives, through public-private partnerships with automakers to support domestic manufacturing, a bipartisan build-out of an electric vehicle charging network across the Midwest, collaborative efforts to decarbonize the economy through the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan, and partnerships with legislators from across the aisle to advance Michigan’s mobility leadership.

For more information about how state governments can leverage federal investments, as well as the opportunities and challenges of implementing the bipartisan infrastructure law, check out CAP’s recent report “How States Can Use the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law To Enhance Their Climate Action Efforts.”

Keynote remarks:
  • Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Adviser
In conversation:
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
  • Patrick Gaspard, President and CEO, Center for American Progress
Panelists:
  • Cindy Estrada, Vice President, United Auto Workers
  • Carolina Martinez, Climate Justice Director, Environmental Health Coalition
  • Terry Travis, Managing Partner, EVNoire
Moderator:
  • Sam Ricketts, Senior Fellow for Energy and Environment, Center for American Progress

You must RSVP to watch the event.

If you have questions for our panel, please submit them on Zoom during the event or via email to CAPeventquestions@americanprogress.org.

For more information, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.

FY 2023 Budget Request for the Department of Transportation

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 10 May 2022 17:00:00 GMT

Hearing page. Chair David Price (D-N.C.)

Witness:

In Fiscal Year 2023, we are now poised to build on early progress with a President’s budget for the Department of Transportation that totals $142 billion, including $36.8 billion in advance appropriations provided by BIL in that year.

  • Safety remains our top priority, and the budget includes funding to help address the crisis of deaths on America’s roadways, as outlined in our National Roadway Safety Strategy. That includes $3 billion for the Highway Safety Improvement Program.
  • With $4 billion for RAISE and the new Mega program, we will rebuild century old infrastructure and lay the groundwork for America to compete and win in decades ahead.
  • With $23.6 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, we will further enhance aviation safety, combat the effects of aviation on the climate, and improve airport infrastructure.
  • With $4.45 billion in Capital Investment Grants, we will advance 15 major transit projects that shorten commutes, increase access to jobs, and reduce congestion on the road for millions of Americans.
  • We will invest $17.9 billion to reverse decades of underinvestment in intercity passenger rail and make fast, reliable train service available to more people.
  • We will provide $1 billion to build out a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers, so that Americans in every part of the country have access to the lower monthly costs of electric vehicles. We will also begin implementing our ambitious new fuel efficiency standards, which are projected to save the typical household hundreds of dollars in gas costs and prevent 2.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from reaching our atmosphere.
  • And to keep making progress on supply chains to help move goods faster and fight inflation, we will invest a total of $680 million to modernize ports, $3 billion to improve the roadways that carry the majority of America’s freight, and a total of $1.5 billion for CRISI grants to improve freight rail.

With "No Double-Dip" Deal, Biden Has Quietly Acquiesced To Enormous Climate Justice Cuts In Infrastructure Plans

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 31 Aug 2021 19:20:00 GMT


Pres. Biden announces bipartisan infrastructure deal with eight of the 21 white U.S. Senators who negotiated the package.
With the so-called “no double-dip” rule, President Biden and 21 senators have negotiated a deal on the Build Back Better agenda that threatens several of his major climate and racial justice initiatives. The senators, all of whom are white, protected industry priorities in their deal.

At risk include programs for restoring minority neighborhoods cleaved by racially unjust highway projects, cut 96 percent, and for replacing all the lead water pipes in the nation, cut 67 percent.

In May, Biden proposed $6 trillion in public investment ($5 trillion in new spending) over ten years, in the form of the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, a $1.9 trillion American Families Plan, and about $1.5 trillion more in other spending.

Biden’s proposed plan was significantly smaller than that advocated by Green New Dealers, who called for $10 trillion in spending over ten years to build a just and sustainable economy.

After months of Senate negotiations, Biden’s plan was cut down to about $4.5 trillion, broken into two legislative components – a $1 trillion ($550 billion in new spending) bipartisan “physical infrastructure” package passed by the Senate by a filibuster-proof majority, and a $3.5-trillion reconciliation package intended to pass with only Democratic votes.

The bipartisan package is a fully detailed bill, while the reconciliation package, at least publicly, remains a top-level skeleton that remains to be fleshed out.

The bipartisan package includes nearly the full amounts requested by Biden for traditional fossil-fuel-intensive infrastructure: $110 billion for roads and bridges, $25 billion for airports, and $17 billion for waterways and ports. In addition, there is $16 billion to bail out oil and gas companies to clean up their abandoned wells.

The “double-dip” deal is this: any initiative which received any monies in the bipartisan package cannot receive more in the reconciliation package. As Politico reported on June 30:
The president said something really important the other day and nobody noticed. At his press conference celebrating the bipartisan infrastructure deal, Joe Biden suggested there would be no coming back for seconds: When it comes to spending on basic physical infrastructure (for roads, bridges, public transportation, etc.), the bipartisan deal is it. There will be no using the parallel, Democrats-only reconciliation package to spend more on those things than Republicans agreed to.

Instead, Biden indicated, the reconciliation bill is exclusively for stuff that Democrats want but Republicans oppose — like spending for family care, climate change and health care.

This may seem like a minor point, but it has big implications. On the left, some progressives have argued that they would simply add to the reconciliation bill anything that wasn’t fully funded in the bipartisan bill. That’s not happening. Biden wanted $157 billion for electric vehicles. The bipartisan bill spends $15 billion. He wanted $100 billion for broadband, and he secured $65 billion. From the White House’s perspective, these issues are now resolved and the reconciliation bill can’t be used to take another crack at them.

We checked with the White House, and officials confirmed that this interpretation is correct.

On the right, some conservatives have argued that voting for the bipartisan deal is pointless because Democrats will simply take what they can get from Republicans on highway spending or airports and then get the rest in the reconciliation bill.

But what’s actually happening is that the bipartisan bill is serving as a brake on what Biden can spend on core infrastructure.

In July, the Senate’s bipartisan package whittled $2.6 billion of Biden’s planned new spending down to $550 billion. Left out completely were major components of Biden’s plan that likely will be taken up in the reconciliation package, including housing, schools, clean energy tax credits, and home and community-based care.

However, because of the “no double-dip” deal Biden and the Senate negotiators made, the following programs face massive cuts that can’t be restored unless the deal is broken:
  • Reconnecting minority communities cut off by highway projects, cut 96% from $24 billion to $1 billion
  • Replacing the nation’s lead pipes, cut 67% from $45 billion to $15 billion
  • Investing in electric school buses, cut 87% from $20 billion to $2.5 billion
  • Repairing and modernizing public transit, cut 54% from $85 billion to $39 billion
  • Building electric vehicle charging stations, cut 50% from $15 billion to $7.5 billion
  • Upgrading and modernizing America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, cut 46% from $56 billion to $30 billion
  • Road safety, including “vision zero” programs to protect pedestrians, cut 45% from $20 billion to $11 billion
  • Broadband infrastructure, cut 35% from $100 billion to $65 billion
  • Investing in passenger and freight rail, cut 18% from $80 billion to $66 billion

This overall cut of nearly half of $441 billion in proposed spending disproportionately targets the urban and rural poor and minority “environmental justice” communities, despite the Biden administration’s stated plans of achieving justice through intentional spending. Biden’s plan was about one-third of what Green New Deal advocates have said is needed for these initiatives.

The Green New Deal Network, a coalition of over 100 organizations, is advocating for the restoration of these funds.

House Transportation Committee chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is intending to challenge the “no double-dip” deal for programs under his jurisdiction, including high-speed rail, connecting neighborhoods, and water systems.

In contrast, the all-white team of 21 U.S. Senators who crafted this deal, led by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), approved Biden’s requested spending levels for highways, airports, waterways, and major bailouts for industrial polluters responsible for chemical and fracking cleanups.

Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee Appropriations Bill

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 12 Jul 2021 21:00:00 GMT

H.R. 3684—INVEST in America Act, Amendment Consideration

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 29 Jun 2021 18:00:00 GMT

H.R. 3684: Text of Legislation

Markup of Water Quality and Transportation Investment Bills

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 09 Jun 2021 14:00:00 GMT

The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a markup to consider H.R. 1915, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, and H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act.

The Green New Deal Network is supporting three of Rep. Chuy García’s amendments to H.R. 3684 – #026, to ensure public transit gets funding on par with roads and bridges, #027, to cut all forms of pollution from transportation, and #028, to fully electrify public transit buses and commuter trains.

“Giving the Department of Transportation a bunch of money for new highways is the climate equivalent of giving energy companies money to build new coal plants,” García tweeted.


Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (ANS) to H.R. 1915, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (ANS) to H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act

Equity in Transportation Infrastructure: Connecting Communities, Removing Barriers, and Repairing Networks across America

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 11 May 2021 14:00:00 GMT

Hearing page

Witnesses;
  • Toks Omishakin, Director, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
  • Veronica Davis, Director, Transportation and Drainage Operations, City of Houston
  • Bill Panos, Director, North Dakota Department of Transportation
  • Steven Polzin Ph.D., Senior Consultant, former Senior Advisor for Research and Technology, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, USDOT

Reducing Oil Dependence through Energy and Climate Policy

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 29 Apr 2010 19:00:00 GMT

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing to examine the potential effects of pending energy and climate legislation on the transportation sector and U.S. dependence on oil. Policies that create a sustained, stable, and predictable price on carbon for transportation fuels have the potential to promote fuel-efficient vehicles, low-carbon fuels, and more energy-efficient transportation decisions by businesses and consumers. However, how such a price is determined, how it is applied, and how generated revenues are used can greatly influence the benefits and costs of such a policy. This briefing will focus on the economic and environmental implications of alternative ways to reduce oil use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector and how key stakeholders are likely to respond. Speakers for this event include:
  • Dr. David Montgomery, Vice-President, Charles River Associates
  • Dr. Chad Stone, Chief Economist, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Dr. Adele Morris, Policy Director for Energy and Climate Economics, Brookings Institution
  • Dr. David Austin, Senior Economist, Congressional Budget Office
  • Jack Basso, Director of Program Finance and Management, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
  • James Corless, Director, Transportation for America
  • Patrick O’Connor, Legislative Counsel, NAFA Fleet Management Association

Fuel use in the transportation sector is widely regarded to be less sensitive to changes in price, relative to electricity and other sectors of the economy, due in part to limited availability of transportation options and substitutes for petroleum fuels. Recent swings in fuel prices, corresponding demand responses, and other research suggest, however, that modest price signals - especially sustained price signals - can spur investments in clean transportation and create significant benefits for the transportation sector. Options to create a carbon price through a fee on transportation fuels can be designed to be as effective and predictable as other policy options based on tradable allowances. Any revenues generated through such policies can be returned to consumers and businesses, reinvested in transportation infrastructure and advanced vehicle and fuel technology, or directed to a combination of public uses.

This briefing is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. For more information, please contact Jan Mueller at jmueller@eesi.org or (202) 662-1883.

Climate Change Policy and Transportation

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 22 Jul 2009 12:00:00 GMT

RSVP

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association.

Keynote Speakers:
  • Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, (D-Md.)
  • Sen. Thomas Carper, (D-Del.)
Panel:
  • Kevin Desmond, King County Metro Transit Division,Dept. of Transportation, Seattle
  • Deron Lovaas, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Caitlin Rayman, Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Daniel J. Weiss, Center for American Progress

Climate change is one of the most significant issues facing transportation today. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources account for one-third of the emissions in the United States, and transportation accounts for 70 percent of U.S. oil consumption. With Congress debating the legislation this year, this event will take a 360-degree look at climate change proposals in the House and Senate and examine the impact they may have on our transportation system.

The Columbus Club at Union Station

50 Massachusetts Avenue

Washington, DC 20002

8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast and Conversation

8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Program

Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 21 Apr 2009 15:00:00 GMT

On April 21, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) will release the results of a two-year study that found that the United States can significantly reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills by implementing an emissions cap in conjunction with a suite of energy and transportation policies. UCS’s recommended approach is similar to the one proposed recently by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in a draft discussion climate bill.

The UCS analysis, “Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy,” uses a modified version of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) and projects how UCS recommendations would reduce emissions and lower energy costs over the next 20 years. The analysis also provides projections of net business savings on energy and net consumer savings by household and region.

WHO
  • Kevin Knobloch, UCS president
  • Rachel Cleetus, UCS climate economist
  • Steve Clemmer, UCS Clean Energy Program research director
  • David Friedman, UCS Clean Vehicles Program research director

For the visual portion of UCS’s “webinar,” go to: cc.readytalk.com/r/i6a7q64a5vtw (please log in early to avoid any bottlenecks)

For the audio portion, call: 866-740-1260, access code: 3018025

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