Congressman Lipinski Introduces Legislation Calling for National Strategy to Reduce Transportation Emissions

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) today introduced the Moving Towards a Safe Climate Act (H.R. 6171) to direct the Secretary of Transportation to develop a national strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Transportation currently accounts for nearly one third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

“We have reached a critical juncture in the fight against climate change,” said Congressman Lipinski. “Transportation is a major source of emissions, and we need a clear national strategy to protect our environment while creating jobs and improving infrastructure. The Department of Transportation needs to develop a strategy to reduce emissions and move us toward a more sustainable future.”

The proposed national strategy could include increases in access to public transit, improvements to pedestrian or cycling infrastructure, and the adoption of low-emissions transportation technologies including electric cars and charging stations. Under Rep. Lipinski’s legislation, the Department of Transportation plan would be required to reduce emissions by 80% below the peak emissions level in 2005. The bill would also require each state to develop its own Strategic Action Plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill has won the support of both transportation and environment groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, Transportation for America, and E2.

“Transportation is now the largest source of carbon pollution and difficult to decarbonize, so we need to accelerate our efforts to cut those emissions,” said Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles and fuels at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Investing in transportation alternatives and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure will help us accomplish this important goal. This bill would make the Secretary of Transportation become an active participant in our national effort to transition to a 100% clean economy by 2050.” 

“Transportation is now the #1 source of climate change pollution and this bill sets an essential target for driving it down,” said Kevin Brubaker, Deputy Director of the Midwest-based Environmental Law & Policy Center. “We support Rep. Lipinski’s legislation to begin moving our country in the right direction to solve the climate crisis.”

"Climate change is an urgent threat, and with the transportation sector the leading contributor of greenhouse gas, it is a good thing for USDOT to analyze its program and procedures to determine how they influence agencies in the wrong direction on climate change,” said Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation for America. “This bill is simply common sense. Congress and USDOT should look forward to the results of the reports required by this bill, and update programs without delay." 

“By setting a clear target for reducing transportation emissions, this bill will drive innovation in the auto industry and help put America on the road toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sandra Purohit, director of federal advocacy for E2. “It also creates a roadmap that will lead to new and more efficient vehicles and other transportation choices for consumers and businesses.”

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