Transport

New Senate Bill Includes $1 Billion for Clean Transportation

New Senate Bill Includes $1 Billion for Clean Transportation
The U.S. Senate introduced a bill on Monday that will include funding for clean transportation and clean car infrastructure. The bill, which has been a promise of President Trump’s for several years is titled America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 and will earmark up to $1 billion for clean modes of transportation.

The act was approved in committee by a vote of 21-0, with bipartisan enthusiasm from both sides of the aisle. There has been widespread support for the bill from both Republicans and Democrats, and early rumors indicate that the bill should easily pass both chambers of Congress.

The bill proposes a whopping $287 billion to be spent on various transportation projects over the next five years. As proposed, $1 billion will be set aside for individual states to build “alternative fuel” stations. While not clearly defined, that could mean hydrogen fuel cell, natural gas, or even biodiesel stations as well as electric vehicle charging stations. With only 5,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and 200,000 natural gas-powered cars on the road as compared to more than 2 million electric vehicles in use today, it seems likely that the bulk of this money will go to public electric charging stations.

 

Additionally, the bill proposes $3 billion to be allocated to states to lower their carbon emissions. This would be accomplished by reducing traffic congestion and adding more carpool lanes to highways. If the bill passes, states will also be able to compete for an additional $500 million in grant money if they are successful at reducing their carbon footprint.

As greencarreports noted here, Volkswagen is spending $2 billion to expand its “Electrify America” charging network.  There are also several smaller companies spending millions on additional fee-based electric-vehicle infrastructure projects that could add even more charging stations to the landscape.

The bill has been widely praised by environmental groups. “With the threat of climate change looming larger than ever, we need to stop burning fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy sources in every aspect of our lives. This especially includes cars and trucks. While increasing funding for electric vehicle charging stations laid out in this bill is a positive step forward, our national leaders should go even further to accelerate the transition to all-electric cars and trucks. Too much is at stake to act otherwise,” Morgon Folger, Director of the Environment America Clean Cars Campaign said in a statement. “We’re glad to see more funding to address climate change in this bill. However, we oppose other provisions in the bill like the one that revokes the environmental review process for oil and gas pipelines in public lands. Running more oil and gas pipelines through our beautiful public lands is an accident waiting to happen, will increase harmful global warming pollution, and only further prolongs our unsustainable addiction to fossil fuels.”

We could not agree more!

What do our readers think of the Senate Bill? Is this a step in the right direction? Is $1 billion enough to improve electric-car infrastructure or should more have been allocated? Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

Source | Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Neil Brooks
Neil Brooks is an electric vehicle owner and lover currently based in the greater Washington D.C. area. Neil is a fan of all things electric and may be the only person in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States to own both an electric leaf blower and an electric chainsaw. When he's not busy blogging about the latest on electric technology he enjoys grilling, rock climbing, and taking naps in his hammock.