April 22, 2010

New DOT Report to Congress is Important Roadmap to Cut Global Warming Pollution

Contact: Claudia Gunter, ITDP: 212-629-8001, cgunter@itdp.org; Sean Crowley, EDF: 202-572-3331, scrowley@edf.org

New DOT Report to Congress is Important Roadmap to Cut Global Warming Pollution, Say Environmental and Transportation Groups

(Washington, DC—April 22, 2010) Environmental and transportation groups praised a just-released U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) report to Congress for laying out a new road map to curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and support a healthier economy.

“With today’s report to Congress on transportation’s role in reducing greenhouse gases, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made an important contribution to addressing the climate change,” said Michael Replogle, global policy director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. “Key strategies in this report would cut emissions at less cost than most other approaches to greenhouse gas reduction when considering vehicle operating cost savings. Such smart transportation strategies would put money in the pockets of consumers and businesses, create good jobs, support livable communities, and more efficient mobility. That’s good for business, the economy, and environment.”

“Congress should use the report’s findings to guide investments and policy for transportation,” said Kathryn Phillips, an expert on federal transportation policy for the Environmental Defense Fund.

The report looks at how greenhouse gas emissions from transportation could be cut by increasing, vehicle fuel economy and carbon efficiency of fuels, improving transportation system efficiency, and reducing travel that involves high levels of carbon emissions.

According to the report, 29 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are due to burning fuel to power U.S. vehicles. The bulk of these emissions, 59 percent, are from light-duty vehicles, with freight trucks contributing 19 percent and aircraft 12 percent. Between 1990 and 2007, U.S. transportation greenhouse gas emissions grew 27 percent, and accounted for nearly half of the total national increase during that time.

The report notes, for example, that strategies to curb traffic growth through better public transportation, coordinated transportation and land use strategies, and greater opportunities for walking and biking – key themes in DOT’s livability initiative – could cut transportation greenhouse emissions by as much as 17 percent by 2030. Combining these with smart transportation pricing and system management could sharply boost transportation reliability and limit global warming.

The report, Transportation’s Role in Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  It is available here.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is a leading international non-profit organization founded in 1985 that promotes environmentally sustainable and equitable transportation worldwide..

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 700,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. https://www.edf.org .


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