Congressmen call on Buttigieg to reinstate limits on tailpipe emissions

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U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), along with 45 other Congressmembers, are urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Pet Buttigieg to prioritize climate change in transportation policy, starting with reinstating a limit on tailpipe emissions.

The coalition, which includes Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), sent Buttigieg a letter Tuesday asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to overturn President Donald Trump’s repeal of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions on National Highways rule in 2018.

“We cannot effectively solve the climate crisis or its negative environmental justice outcomes without reducing emissions from transportation, and we cannot make progress toward emissions reductions without a program to measure and report on performance. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration took us in the wrong direction by repealing the GHG measure rule in 2018. We urge you to move quickly to reinstate the measure and empower State DOTs and MPOs to make well-informed decisions and plans,” the lawmakers wrote.

Doing so would signal the Transportation Secretary’s commitment to climate change, they said.

“In addition to reinstating the GHG measure for tailpipe emissions, we hope that some of your first steps on climate change as Secretary of Transportation will improve the methods and procedures for accounting for the climate and environmental justice impacts of our transportation decisions and investments,” they added. “For too long, our decision-making processes have failed to thoroughly or accurately consider infrastructure projects’ impacts on land use development and induced travel demand, leading to projects that create more congestion, induce more driving, increase overall pollution with higher concentrations in communities of color, and produce other adverse consequences. We urge you to use your leadership of the Department of Transportation to upgrade outdated approaches and refine our evaluations of infrastructure alternatives.”

The Congressmembers pointed out that the House included restoring those limits in the “Moving Forward Act” last year.