House increases stimulus funding for public transit
For Immediate Release
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748
Friends of the Earth Praises Increased Funding for Public Transportation Projects in House Stimulus Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C.Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder had the following response to the House of Representatives passage today of an amendment that will increase funding for public transportation in the economic stimulus package:
The House of Representatives today wisely chose to increase its support for clean, affordable transportation. By voting to boost funding for public transportation projects by $3 billion, the House moved the economic stimulus package closer to the vision of a green economic recovery that President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have promised.
The amendment, sponsored by Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Michael McMahon (D-NY), and Keith Ellison (D-WI), and supported by leadership, adds $1.5 billion for transit capital improvements and $1.5 billion for the transit New Starts Program, raising the total funding level for transit and rail in the recovery bill to $12 billion. This is a smart investment: each dollar spent on public transportation creates 19 percent more jobs than a dollar spent on new roads, while also reducing global warming pollution and oil dependence.
Unfortunately, the House bill still allows far too much money to go to new road and highway construction. All highway spending that remains in this package should either be shifted to additional public transportation investments, or dedicated to repair and rehabilitation of existing roads and highways, which creates 9 percent more jobs than construction of new roads.
We urge senators, who will soon vote on their version of the stimulus, to increase support for public transportation and other clean transportation investments, as well as to limit spending on roads and highways to maintenance and repair.
Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the worlds largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.