July 26, 2022

In Letter to Secretary Buttigieg, Chairs DeFazio, Norton and 56 House Members Support Administration’s Efforts to Track and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

“After more than five years of delay, we applaud FHWA for taking this important step to implement a GHG performance measure. This proposed rule will provide…a key tool to consistently measure, report on, and reduce carbon pollution from the surface transportation system.”

Washington, DC – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and 56 representatives wrote to the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in support of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) proposed performance measure to track reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the National Highway System. This rulemaking is a key action that the Biden Administration must take to address the number one source of carbon pollution in the United States: transportation.

“According to Environmental Protection Agency data, transportation accounts for over 34 percent of the nation’s carbon pollution, the highest-polluting sector in the economy. On-road sources account for 83 percent of these transportation emissions,” the members wrote. “This proposed rule takes a critical step in addressing our nation’s climate crisis, aids states in implementation of key provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. L. 117-58), and ensures that the Federal-aid Highway Program advances performance-based outcomes and national performance goals as required by law.”

The members emphasized how the proposed measure is consistent with goals set in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to increase resiliency and reduce carbon pollution: “Establishing a nationwide, uniform performance measure will ensure consistency in tracking progress and help state DOTs, MPOs, and FHWA to identify the most effective programs, strategies, and projects for carbon reduction.” The performance measure would also inform state DOT and MPO efforts to carry out performance-based planning and project selection, consistent with statutory requirements.”

Additional Information:

Under this proposal, state DOTs and MPOs would be required to set declining GHG emission targets in line with the administration’s goal of net zero carbon emissions economy-wide by 2050. State DOTs and MPOs would have flexibility to set targets that are appropriate for their communities and that work for their respective climate change and other policy priorities, as long as the targets would reduce emissions over time. The Obama Administration issued a similar rule, but the Trump Administration repealed the rule before it took effect.

The full letter can be found here.