Obama Supports Rail Expansion Instead of Gas Tax Holiday

Obama Supports Rail Expansion Instead of Gas Tax Holiday

For Immediate Release

Colin Peppard, 202-222-0747
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

Obama’s Call for Rail Expansion Instead of Gas Tax Holiday Welcomed by Friends of the Earth

Instead of pandering with McCain-Clinton ‘holiday’ that won’t solve problem, Obama proposes real solution

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Barack Obama’s rejection of a gas tax holiday and his decision to call instead for an expansion of passenger rail service was welcomed today by national environmental group Friends of the Earth, which said Obama was proposing real solutions instead of creating false hopes.

“With Americans feeling pain at the pump, Senator Barack Obama is talking about real solutions, including stronger fuel economy standards and support for expanding passenger rail,” said Colin Peppard, Friends of the Earth’s transportation policy coordinator. “Rail is an efficient, cost-effective way to travel that also happens to limit global warming. Senator Obama deserves a lot of credit for his foresight and candor.”

Peppard also criticized the other leading presidential candidates’ support of a gas tax holiday:

“The ridiculous ‘tax holiday’ proposed by Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton is a typical Washington gimmick designed to score political points without actually helping voters. It’s a short-term stunt that would do little if anything to lower prices at the pump. At the same time, it would actually hurt us in the long run by diverting attention from real transportation solutions like passenger rail that can reduce costs and cut carbon at the same time.”

Yesterday at a campaign event held at an Amtrak employee’s home in Beech Grove, Indiana, Obama argued for more rail service in the U.S.:

“With gas prices what they are, we should be expanding rail service,” Obama said, according to a press pool report. “We are going to be having a lot of conversations this summer about gas prices. And it’s a perfect time to start talk about why we don’t have better rail service. We are the only advanced country in the world that doesn’t have high speed rail. … [Rail] is a lot more reliable and it is a good way for us to start reducing how much gas we are using. It is a good story to tell.”

More information about Obama’s call for expanded rail transit in the face of increasing gas prices can be found here: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/4/30/17129/8159