Reducing the impact of climate change, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and lessening dependence on foreign oil are high priorities for the Obama Administration.
Today, I brought that message of aggressive action for a clean-energy environment to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Here's a brief idea of what I said in a hearing on Transportation's Role in Climate Change and Reducing Greenhouse Gases:
- We must take action to make all forms of transportation more fuel efficient while stepping up efforts to introduce low-carbon fuels and alternative power sources for all types of vehicles.
- However, even if we were to achieve a 55 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard in the coming years, carbon emission levels from transportation would still only decline modestly. We must implement policies and programs that reduce vehicle miles driven.
- This means providing communities with additional transportation choices, such as light rail, fuel-efficient buses, and paths for pedestrians and bicycles that intersect with transit centers. These options will also reduce household transportation costs, strengthen local economies, lower traffic congestion, and reduce reliance on foreign oil.
- Our strategy also calls for investing transportation dollars in coordination with housing and economic development. By doing so, we can promote strong communities with mixed-income housing located close to transit in walkable neighborhoods.
Well there it is, for all to read:
If we want to reduce transportation carbon emissions, we need to reduce the amount of driving we do.
In the end, folks, we're not talking about huge sacrifices. The DOT and the strategies outlined above can help smooth the transition to a less-car-dependent mobility.
And, I look forward to working with Congress to achieve these important goals in both the climate change and surface transportation bills.