Congressional Climate Bill Includes ‘Complete Streets’ But Not CLEAN TEA
Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has just struck a deal on his long-awaited climate change bill -- and though the agreement makes a number of concessions to polluters, it also takes a step forward towards popularizing the cause of "complete streets".
In short, the House climate bill officially sets "complete streets" principles as planning goals for state and local transportation officials. The DOT and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would enforce the deadlines for each state and local transportation emissions-reduction plan and hand out grants to help areas implement innovative strategies for diminishing auto dependence.
The funding for those grants would have to come from future spending bills, not from the auctions of carbon-emissions permits to polluting industries -- the so-called CLEAN TEA plan that Transportation for America and other advocacy groups have been hoping for.
deal would auction only 15 percent of the emissions permits, giving the
rest away free to coal companies, electric utilities and the auto
industry. Why did CLEAN TEA fall by the wayside? Sadly, Democrats from
coal- and oil-dominant states were prepared to bring down Waxman's bill
unless their hometown industries got emissions permits for free. Even
those Democrats who are still fighting to make polluting industries pay
for their permits want the revenue to go back to the public in the form
of tax credits, rather than to green transportation.