There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, May 18, 2009

Clean energy without transit? Craziness in Washington

Limousine liberal ... is a pejorative North American political term used to illustrate perceived hypocrisy by a political liberal of upper class or upper middle class status, such as calling for the use of mass transit while frequently using limousines or private jets...
So that's what I think best explains what's going on in Washington, D.C., right now.

Last week, Rep. Henry Waxman introduced H.R. 2454, the “American Clean Energy and Security Act.” As William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association points out, the bill provides investment and transition assistance to numerous private industries but ignores public transit.

As Millar points out:
"Public transportation use last year prevented the emission of more than 37 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. Those emissions savings are equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households. Our nation’s transportation system produces one-third of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the U.S., and transportation is the fastest growing domestic source of greenhouse gas emissions, yet public transportation receives zero allowance value in ACESA.

In contrast, the electricity sector will receive up to 35 percent of ACESA annual allowances.

Public transportation use in America saves 4.2 billion gallons of fuel each year and helps Americans reduce their commuting costs by escaping the high costs of gasoline and car ownership. In fact, riding public transportation can save an individual an average of $8,691 a year based on recent average gas and parking prices, yet public transportation receives zero allowance value in ACESA.

In contrast, oil refineries will receive up to 2 percent of ACESA annual allowances.

Expanding public transportation is a proven strategy to make our transportation system more efficient and our roads less congested. Transit use saves more than 541 million hours in travel time and hundreds of millions of gallons of gasoline by preventing congestion each year. According to the Center for Clean Air Policy, growth in vehicle travel will negate much of the emission savings from improved vehicle economy and new fuels. Even with a fully electrified transportation system, public transportation will be needed to fight congestion and expand mobility, yet public transportation receives zero allowance value in ACESA.

In contrast, the automotive industry will receive up to 3 percent of ACESA annual allowances to develop advanced automobile technologies."
This is just too dumb to believe. Waxman's committee is in the process of marking up this bill. APTA is encouraging its members to contact their representatives. Everyone should do so.

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