According to data from the Department of Transportation, the transportation industry is the one that contributes the most to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 33 percent of the total in 2019.
The Biden administration, however, is committed to changing that. A ground-breaking blueprint to decarbonize the transportation industry by 2050 was unveiled on Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm stated in a press statement announcing the new plan that there is a tremendous chance to significantly reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and hazardous pollutants in the domestic transportation sector.
In order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and a clean electrical system by 2035, President Joe Biden has included the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization in his plan. According to The Washington Post, there are plans to increase the usage of electric cars (EVs), create more pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, and invest in public transportation choices like buses and trains.
According to RMI principal E.J. Klock-McCook, the electrical sector must outperform or outperform in terms of emissions reduction. From a technical and economic perspective, transportation comes next.
According to The Hill, the strategy provides a schedule for how decarbonizing transport might proceed:
- By 2030: Investments made in public transit, transportation infrastructure, batteries, and hydrogen power; goals set for increasing the percentage of EVs on the road.
- 2030-2040: Increasing vehicle fuel efficiency standards.
- 2040-2030: Working towards fleet turnover to replace aging fossil fuel-powered infrastructure with other alternatives.
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The Hill raised the possibility that the plan wouldn’t hold up under a future Republican administration. The Washington Post noted that many of the reforms the government wants to make have already been set in motion thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure package and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). For instance, the infrastructure package included $7.5 billion for EV charging stations while the IRA offered tax incentives of up to $7,500 for consumers who purchase EVs.
According to Deron Lovaas, senior policy adviser for the Natural Resources Defense Council, both of this legislation are causing profound changes and are ready to have a greater impact.
The blueprint underlines that in addition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the climate crisis, these measures will also improve human health, particularly for vulnerable communities that are disproportionately exposed to dangerous air pollution. Changing transportation can also reduce the second-highest annual expense for Americans while generating high-paying jobs to ease the transition.
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We must work together in an integrated manner to address the climate crisis, according to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who made the announcement. Transportation policy is inextricably linked to housing and energy policy, and transportation contributes significantly to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Every transportation choice offers the chance to create a future that is cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous. We are all better off when our air is cleaner, more people can find well-paying jobs, and everyone is linked to the things and people they need.