Reps. Henry A. Waxman, James L. Oberstar, Anthony D. Weiner, Earl Blumenauer, and Doris Matsui today announced a new agreement that will allow states to use funding from the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) to invest in clean transportation projects that reduce global warming pollution.
Under ACES, states will receive allowances for clean energy and energy efficiency investments. In the original legislation, these allowances could be used for purposes such as building retrofits to increase efficiency, investments in renewable energy such as wind turbines and solar panels, or for establishing a "Smart Grid." However, the original legislation did not provide any of these allowances to the transportation sector.Under the agreement announced today, states will be allowed to use up to 10 percent of these allowances for transportation. They can use allowances to fulfill the state matching requirement to receive federal funds for projects like public transportation systems, clean fuel buses, or construction of bicycle facilities.
"This is an important improvement in the legislation," said Rep. Waxman, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. "Transportation accounts for nearly one-third of our global warming pollution. We will be requiring states and metropolitan areas to plan for reducing their global warming pollution from transportation, and this provision will help them reach their goals."
"Transportation has been identified as a significant source of the pollutants that contribute to global warming, and investing in transportation projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be a central part of the solution," said Rep. Oberstar, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "I commend Chairman Waxman for working with me to ensure that a portion of allowances are available for projects that will expand options for public transportation, bicycling, walking, and other green transportation alternatives for our citizens. This legislation provides only a small portion of the funds needed to address surface transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, but is a very good first step."
"It's simply a no brainer to help localities reduce global warming by investing in smart transportation projects," said Rep. Weiner. "We need to get in the business of reducing congestion and increasing cost effective, energy efficient measures such as public transit. This bill does just that."
"Chairman Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Markey have worked tirelessly on a bill that will invest in clean, renewable energy, put a cap on dangerous carbon emissions, and create millions of new jobs," said Rep. Blumenauer. "Yet we can't successfully address the issue of global warming without dealing with transportation, a sector which accounts for nearly one-third of America's carbon emissions. I am pleased that the American Clean Energy and Security Act recognizes that providing low carbon transportation options, including public transportation, is a cost-effective way to reduce global warming pollution. Not only do these investments reduce emissions, but they give Americans more commuting choices, improve public health, and reduce our nation's dependence on oil."
"Because transportation accounts for 30 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year, effective climate change legislation must include a transportation component if we are going to achieve the emission reductions we need in order to halt global warming," stated Rep. Matsui. "The inclusion of my transportation efficiency provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, along with the robust funding announced in today's agreement, will give communities the incentives they need to grow and develop in a way that is sensitive to global warming."