Climate & Energy Blog

Congress Shortchanges Clean Transportation Alternatives, Perpetuates U.S. Addiction to Oil

Posted Jul. 22, 2010 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

For Immediate Release

Severin Skolrud,, 202-222-0734
Kim Huynh,, 202-222-0723
Congress Shortchanges Clean Transportation Alternatives, Perpetuates U.S. Addiction to Oil
Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved transportation funding legislation that provides insufficient funding for Amtrak and high speed rail (HSR) projects.  The bill provides $1.963 billion for Amtrak, $666 million short of the funds requested for passenger rail, and only $1 billion for HSR projects, less than half of the already inadequate $2.5 billion the program received last year.
Friends of the Earth’s federal transportation policy campaigner, Severin Skolrud, had the following response to the Senate Appropriations transportation mark-up:
“In light of our economic and environmental disasters, this is not the time to be providing inadequate funds to our nation’s clean infrastructure projects, especially projects such as high speed rail and Amtrak that provide energy efficient transportation alternatives.
“The U.S. construction industry unemployment rate is about 20 percent as of June 2010. Not only is the Senate Appropriations Committee jeopardizing our energy future, but they are preventing Americans from getting jobs.
“We need our government to listen to what the people want. Oil has proved to be dangerous to our environment and our economy. Other developed countries have already made the switch to clean transportation alternatives such as high speed rail. How much longer will our government force us to rely on dirty and dangerous fuels as our main energy source?”
Friends of the Earth (website) and our federation of grassroots groups in 77 countries are a force for the sustainable and fair use of the Earth’s resources. We’re progressives who confront economic factors fueling ecological destruction and injustice and who don’t shy from speaking sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.
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