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Obama's Budget Makes Commitment to Clean Transportation

Posted Feb. 27, 2009 / Posted by: RConnors

President Obama’s budget proposal for the Department of Transportation begins the process of transitioning to a more efficient, lower-carbon transportation system. The President’s budget increases funding for public transit which will give more families and commuters clean, affordable transportation options, improve air and water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

The budget also builds on President Obama’s historic investment in a 21st –century passenger rail system in his economic recovery package.  Obama commits $1 billion a year new resources to develop a high-speed rail network to links regional population centers.  In addition to reducing greenhouse gas pollution and improving air and water quality, these investments will reduce congestion on our interstate highways, and in our crowded airports.

More broadly, we were pleased to see that the Administration is planning to work with Congress to fundamentally reform our surface transportation policy, which is both economically and environmentally unsustainable. Last year, Congress was required to pass an $8 billion infusion into the Highway Trust Fund to keep it from going bankrupt.  Our current transportation policy also makes the transportation sector the largest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S., putting it directly at odds with the President’s efforts to address global warming.

We must reform our transportation laws to ensure they are financially sound while enhancing the transportation planning process and investing in sustainable, low-carbon transportation options such as public transit, high speed passenger rail, and livable communities where walking and biking are real transportation options.

Image provided by GreaterGreaterWashington.org

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