Dodd Stays at Helm of Transit Panel — But at a Cost to Climate Bill?

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) announced
this afternoon that he would stay on at the helm of the Banking
Committee, which also has jurisdiction over federal transit issues,
rather than move over to lead the health panel previously led by his
friend, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

dodd_working.jpgSen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) (Photo: The Washington Note)

decision means that urban transit advocates will continue to work with
a chairman whose state has both a large population (3.5 million,
according to the most recent Census estimates) and a diverse mix of transport needs.

A Dodd departure would have given
the Banking chairmanship to Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who has supported
greater transit funding in the past but nonetheless hails from a
sparsely populated state where paratransit is a major priority as opposed to the construction of new bus or rail networks.

Dodd’s choice is a good thing for clean transportation, right? Well …
not entirely. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) jumped in to take that health
committee chairmanship, which left an opening at the Agriculture
Committee that was claimed by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR).

Lincoln, as Kate Sheppard points out,
has urged Democratic leaders to scrap their climate change bill and
blasted the version already passed by the House as too hard on the
agriculture industry. She is a vocal advocate for domestic offshore oil
drilling (in addition to renewable energy incentives), and her voting
record earned a low 32 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters.

Transit and other emissions-reducing transport modes are in line for
as much as 10 percent of the carbon allowances generated by a future
congressional climate law — but that assumes that Lincoln won’t use
her new position to slow action on the measure.


Dodd and Dorgan Retiring: The Consequences For Transportation Policy

In a surprising one-two punch, Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan (ND) and Chris Dodd (CT) have let slip their plans to leave Congress at the end of this year. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) is set to announce his retirement today. (Photo: Dodd’s retirement is much less troublesome for Democratic leaders than Dorgan’s […]

Dodd Vows to Pass Livability Bill Amid Skepticism From Rural Senators

Even as the Obama administration ramps up its work on a sustainability initiative that treats transportation, housing, and energy efficiency as interconnected aspects of development policy, the effort remains without an official congressional authorization — a situation that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) vowed to fix yesterday. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd […]

Senators Propose $4 Billion for Transit-Oriented Development Grants

Making good on a vow first reported in Streetsblog Capitol Hill, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and three colleagues today offered a bill authorizing $4 billion in grants to help states and cities pursue transit-oriented development, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and other green transport projects. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) (Photo: […]

Dodd’s Livability Bill Earns Praise from Local Governments

With financial reform nearly complete, the Senate Banking Committee turned its attention today to one of Senator Chris Dodd’s (D-CT) next priorities, the Livable Communities Act. Local government came out strong for the initiative to promote sustainable and integrated regional planning, with representatives of the nation’s cities, towns, counties, and regional planning organizations testifying in favor. Among committee members, […]

Dodd and DeLauro Vow to Get Infrastructure Bank Done This Year

Supporters from every corner of the transportation universe joined Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) today at a press event aimed at jumpstarting a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB), which the two Connecticut lawmakers vowed to steer to passage this year. Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), above, founded BAF with […]