Transportation Bill Weakens Environmental Protections and Jeopardizes America’s Clean Transportation Future
Denver, CO – After drawn out negotiations on a transportation reauthorization bill, members of congress reported legislation out of the conference committee between the House and Senate.
Environment Colorado’s Federal Transportation Advocate, John Cross, released the following statement:
“Transportation is responsible for one-third of our global warming pollution and two-thirds of our dangerous dependence on oil, but it doesn’t have to be this way--we can invest in clean, efficient travel choices like public transit that will move our nation away from oil and toward a brighter, healthier future. Sadly, this bill does not move us toward this future, and thanks to weakening efforts by the House Republicans, it actually takes steps backward.”
“This proposal limits public participation and otherwise cripples the environmental review process for transportation projects, giving many projects a free pass regardless of their potential harmful impacts. In addition, it rolls back core clean transportation policies, including dedicated funding for safe biking and walking infrastructure, that provide Americans with safer, cleaner, and healthier transportation choices.”
“Congress also missed out on a critical opportunity to protect some of our most treasured places by dropping language that was included in the Senate’s proposal to ensure $1.4 billion for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a historically underfunded program to provide critical resources for protecting national parks, wildlife refuges and local recreation areas.“
“Cooler heads luckily prevailed in debates on attaching potentially disastrous provisions to approve the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline or to deregulate the disposal of toxic coal ash. But we need to do far better—our transportation policy should invest in public transit, biking and walking safety, and lay the groundwork for smarter, cleaner infrastructure across the country that will reduce our dependence on oil.
Environment Colorado is a state-based, citizen funded environmental advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.