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In Pete Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of Transportation yesterday, he called out the “generational opportunity” at this moment to align our national infrastructure with climate goals. The American public is behind him. According to a recent survey by Yale’s Climate Change Communications Center, 68% of registered voters support major government investment in our infrastructure. Nearly everyone surveyed (93%) supports that money going to repair and improve roads, bridges, and highways, and a majority (78%) are in favor of those roads being driven by cars with stronger fuel efficiency standards.
Why this Matters: Transportation accounts for the largest slice of the U.S. emissions pie, so tackling how the sector is powered is essential to meet emission goals. In order to get there, the federal investment in transportation will need to go beyond fixing the country’s existing roads and rails. It’s an opportunity to move past car-centric planning and create infrastructure that makes emission-free walking, biking, and electrified public transit the preferred choice. Bringing American transportation in line with climate goals also improves public health by decreasing the toxic pollution that harms the respiratory health of people living near major roads.
Infrastructure Support By The Numbers
The survey shows national interest in improving our current infrastructure, but meeting the challenge of the current moment requires changing how people and goods move — and this is where bipartisan support breaks down. Liberal Democrats strongly support a national high-speed rail system (66%) and a national system of electric vehicle charging stations (63%) but fewer than one-third of conservative Republicans support either of these initiatives.
67% support installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the U.S. by 2030.
44% support requiring all new cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in the U.S. are electric vehicles by 2030.
74% support funds to repair and improve National Parks.
65% support funds to install solar panels and wind turbines across the country.
“I believe good transportation policy can play no less a role than making possible the American dream,” Buttigieg said during his hearing yesterday. “But I also recognize that at their worst, misguided policies and missed opportunities in transportation can reinforce racial and economic inequality.” Even as Tesla, GM, and yesterday Ford stock prices have risen in recent months and the public favors installing charging stations, a majority is still not sold on making the changeover to EVs themselves by 2030.
By WW0 Staff For the United States, the post-Trump, pre-COP26 road to Glasgow has been paved with ambition and humility. In a major speech, the President’s Envoy, John Kerry, previewed the results of his climate diplomacy before heading into two weeks of intense deliberations of world leaders. Speaking at the London School of Economics — […]
Next week, the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow will draw hundreds of world leaders to Glasgow to determine the path forward five years after the Paris Climate Agreement (for a primer, read this) as new science underscores the urgency. The conference aims to squeeze countries to strengthen the commitments they’ve made towards securing global net-zero […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In a report released last week, the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed that existing risks and security challenges in the US are being made worse due to “increasing temperatures; changing precipitation patterns; and more frequent, intense, and unpredictable extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Now, the Pentagon is […]
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