The Biden administration finalized a rule requiring states to cut transportation-generated greenhouse gas emissions with the leeway to set their own target reductions.
The Federal Highway Administration will give states a performance measure to track emissions.
“Every state has its own unique climate challenges, and every state ought to have the data, funding, and flexibility it needs to meet those challenges head on,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg said in a press release on the new measure.
The rule comes without a stick – it includes no penalties for missing target reductions – but there is a carrot of $27 billion in federal funds to support pollution-cutting programs.
Funding examples include:
- A $5 billion electric-vehicle infrastructure program to help states build a national charging network.
- Another $5 billion to replace public buses with no-emissions electric and other low- or no-emissions models.
- A Congestion Relief Program of $250 million in competitive money to develop “innovative, multimodal solutions” to reduce traffic congestion and “related economic and environmental costs” in major metropolitan areas.
States will be required to regularly report on their progress in cutting emissions.
The rule is a good step to protect the environment, said Natural Resources Defense Council Director of Federal Transportation Shruti Vaidyanathan.
“It’s way past time for officials to measure the impact of public spending and come up with ways to make it better. Just paving more, new lanes of highways is not the answer. The key is making sure the funds are spent on highway repairs and on alternatives such as charging stations, public transit, and bike lanes.”
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today