From: The Honorable Earl Blumenauer
Sent By: paul.balmer@mail.house.gov
Date: 2/8/2016

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11

Supported by Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters and Transportation for America

Current Signers: Cartwright, Edwards, Lowenthal, Pocan, Grijalva, Honda, Huffman

February 8, 2016

Dear Colleague,

In 2015, Americans drove a record 3 trillion miles. Cars and trucks make up more than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of the transportation sector, which itself is responsible for nearly a third of all U.S. GHG emissions.  Unless we expand our efforts to reduce GHGs from our transportation sector, this troubling correlation will only worsen—America is expected to grow by 70 million people and move nearly 50% more freight by 2045.

While strong fuel efficiency standards for trucks and cars are mitigating the effects of increased travel, state and local transportation planning often gives little or no consideration to the outcome of projects on emissions.  Fortunately, MAP-21 rulemaking provides a critical opportunity to correct this by requiring state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to evaluate GHG emissions in transportation planning and project selection.

Please join me in the below letter to Secretary Foxx, urging the establishment of a GHG emission performance measure during ongoing MAP-21 rulemaking.  A number of transportation and environment groups sent a similar letter to Secretary Foxx. DOT is in the process of finalizing the proposed rule now, so please contact Paul Balmer in my office at paul.balmer@mail.house.gov or x54811 by COB THURSDAY, Feb 11 to add your voice.

Sincerely,

Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress

_____________

 

February xx, 2016

The Honorable Anthony Foxx
Secretary
United States Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Secretary Foxx:

We write to you today to urge you to include a performance standard for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the forthcoming US DOT transportation performance measure pursuant to MAP-21 (23 USC § 150). This rulemaking presents an important opportunity to address climate change and significantly reduce GHG emissions through administrative action. Given the administration’s bold record on climate change and the landmark climate agreement in Paris last year, we respectfully request that you build on this momentum with a strong emissions rule.

The transportation sector is one of the largest and fastest growing sources of US GHG emissions, responsible for nearly one third of our country’s total emissions. On road vehicles account for over 80% of transportation emissions, and we can only expect this share to increase—US drivers traveled a record 3 trillion miles in 2015, an increase of 2.5% to 5% each month over 2014. As we plan for a transportation system that can meet the demands of 70 million more people and nearly 50% more freight volume by 2045, a GHG performance standard for state and local transportation projects will help ensure the sustainable growth of our transportation network, avoiding costly projects that waste taxpayer money and time but don’t move commuters any faster.

The proposed rule should require states and regions to set standards for GHG emissions, which would apply to a wide range of projects and guide sustainable transportation planning. Implementing a uniform GHG performance standard nationwide will ensure that state DOTs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) not only consider the environmental repercussions of long term transportation plans and projects, but act accordingly. Using existing emissions inventories, state DOTs and MPOs will be responsible for tracking on-road vehicle emissions and setting targets for improvement. Such an approach would encourage states to choose more environmentally-friendly policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We urge you to take this action in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions by incorporating climate concerns in state and regional transportation policy.

Sincerely,