Last year DOT joined with HUD and EPA to establish an Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. So it was only natural that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and I would team up yesterday to host the White House's Clean Energy Economy Forum "Livability and Sustainable Communities – Taking Action for a Clean Energy Future."
This gathering of experts focused on creating jobs and spurring development by creating more livable and sustainable communities. You see, an effectively managed transition toward more livable and sustainable communities should also be an engine of economic growth.
Now, as you can see in the video coverage of the meeting, the people who came to the forum already get that we need to change course. But it will take strong Federal leadership to make this critical change a reality.
So, through a set of guiding livability principles, the EPA-DOT-HUD partnership will coordinate federal housing, transportation, and other infrastructure investments to protect the environment, promote equitable development, and help address the challenges of climate change.
We're talking about good outcomes like more walkable, transit-friendly neighborhoods with ready access to affordable housing, to jobs, to medical care and other essential services.
The transportation sector accounts for nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than half of nitrogen oxide emissions, and almost three-quarters of our petroleum consumption. We simply cannot afford--environmentally or economically--to continue on that path.
The good news is that we're already taking steps to accelerate this necessary sea-change. DOT is striking a new balance among all forms of transportation through our successful TIGER grant program. From Dallas to Dubuque, and from Phoenix to Philadelphia, people want more transportation options. These discretionary grants are meeting that demand and making a difference.
And we're not stopping now.