President’s transportation budget plan seeks to create sustainability

Posted in: Bridges, Environmental, Highways

Electric-Car_body-300x300In early February, the White House released a plan to strengthen a sustainable transportation economy while also focusing on reducing carbon emissions. While last year’s transportation bill was another building block on the road to stronger transportation infrastructure, the White House hopes that the 21st Century Clean Transportation System will push for more sustainable funding, lower air carbon pollution and better economic growth.

Funding solutions

The United States’ transportation system relies on oil, and yet oil prices are at their lowest point in decades. While this is helpful for motorists at the gas pump, these savings ultimately take away from the Highway Trust Fund which funds all types of transportation projects. In order to save end consumers from feeling the brunt of growing fuel costs, President Obama proposes adding a $10 per barrel fee which will be paid for by oil companies.

Environmental consciousness

While some decry the President’s plan to have the private market pay extra for gas, the White House hopes this increase will cause oil companies to look towards more environmentally-friendly solutions and reduce our country’s reliance on oil. The transportation sector accounts for nearly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, so investing in alternative and clean transportation is one of the President’s top priorities. Additionally, the President plans to invest around $10 billion per year to reward communities who actively seek cut carbon pollution within their transportation plans.

Economic gains

The 21st Century Clean Transportation System plan looks to investing in America’s economy. Three new competitive grant programs have been created to fund updates to railways, freight systems, public transportation and pedestrian-friendly accommodations. This will open up more design and construction job opportunities, boosting the nation’s economy. Additionally, allocating money towards clean transportation research will create more employment opportunities in the science and engineering fields.

Supporting stronger infrastructure initiatives like the 21st Century Clean Transportation System will help the United States toward a path of sustainability. By shifting research and oil companies to invest in clean energy solutions, we can begin to alter the way our transportation fund operates while also investing in a clean future and growing economy.

Rick Plymale, PE, PLS

About the Author

Rick Plymale, P.E., PLS, oversees the operations of our southeastern offices performing transportation services. Rick is a problem-solver and a planner. He stays in front of challenges by taking care of important things first. He enjoys getting things done and checking them off the list. Before taking action, though, Rick thinks about the impact on others and the future. “We like to have fun,” he says, “But we don’t like surprises.” Our clients appreciate that and enjoy working with us.

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