Today, President Obama released his plan for America’s energy security, and DOT has a huge role to play.
The transportation sector accounts for two-thirds of the United States’ oil use and contributes one-third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. After housing, transportation is the second biggest monthly expense for most American families.
As the President said, “In an economy that relies so heavily on oil, rising prices at the pump affect everybody.”
We have the opportunity, and the obligation, to take action. We can change both the types and the amounts of energy that our transportation systems use while also creating good, high-paying jobs and easing everyone’s burden at the pump.
Through historic fuel economy standards, we’ve also made sure the gasoline-powered vehicles we’re accustomed to will run more efficiently and use less gas. That saves us all from spending a fortune to fill up.
America’s high-speed rail program is one of the biggest green jobs efforts we’ve got going. According to Environment America, high-speed rail uses a third less energy per mile than car or plane travel; a nationwide system could reduce our oil use by 125 million barrels a year. And Americans of every party and in every region are calling for more rail investment, not less.
But electric vehicles, fuel economy standards and high-speed rail are just a sample of what DOT is doing.
Just about every project our Federal Transit Administration supports helps us reduce dependence on imported oil. The FAA is working to develop cleaner fuel for air travel, and the NextGen air traffic control system will lead to further fuel savings. And our Maritime Administration is moving full steam ahead on America’s Marine Highways program, a real game-changer in freight shipping.
Now, we can’t just wave a magic wand and end our reliance on oil overnight. But under President Obama’s leadership, we are progressing down the path toward sustainability, a cleaner environment, and more livable communities.