News Release


Jason Donofrio,
Arizona PIRG

Over 100 Diverse Groups Tell Congress: Spend Smarter on Transportation


A diverse coalition of over 100 major national, state, and local organizations have rallied behind two U.S. Senators' effort to transform transportation policy by increasing use of public transit, passenger rail and non-motorized transportation, and by reducing driving miles.

In a letter sent to members of the U.S. Senate on June 2, 2009 leading transportation stakeholders, environmental, progressive, and conservative institutions, including the Free Congress Foundation, expressed support for the Federal Surface Transportation Policy and Planning Act of 2009 (S. 1036), which establishes overarching goals for the federal surface transportation program.

"There is major support across regions and political parties for a more energy-efficient system that focuses on national priorities rather than the usual politics of Congressional trophy-spending," said Alex Nelson, transportation associate for the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG), one of the organizations that support the coalition's initiative.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) designed S. 1036 as a benchmark for the upcoming federal transportation authorization bill, which will determine the course of federal transportation policy for the next six years.

The Federal Surface Transportation Policy and Planning Act of 2009 seeks to reduce surface transportation-generated carbon dioxide 40 percent by 2030 and includes goals to reduce national per capita motor vehicle miles traveled on an annual basis, reducing America's dependence on oil.

Transportation is responsible for one-third of U.S. global warming pollution and nearly two-thirds of domestic oil consumption. 

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