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Dear Chairman Boxer and Chairman Kerry:
On behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and its 1,500 member organizations, I write to express strong support for your efforts to move our nation toward a vibrant clean energy economy while controlling global warming. The "Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act" outlines a strong plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and petroleum consumption within our transportation system, a much-needed element in energy and climate legislation. The transportation sector is responsible for 28 percent of GHG emissions in the United States, and growth in transportation emissions accounted for almost one-half of the increase in total U.S. GHGs between 1990 and 2006. Transportation is also responsible for nearly 70 percent of our oil consumption.
APTA strongly endorses the bill’s prospective funding to expand and improve public transportation service throughout the country. Transit use last year prevented the release of more than 37 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. Direct investment in public transportation expands travel options, produces both near-term and long-term emission savings, and prevents future disruptions in service. The bill also creates a competitive multi-modal program to fund transportation projects identified by new regional and state planning efforts to reduce vehicular emissions. This program could advance significant projects such as light-rail systems, bus-rapid-transit (BRT) installations, and subway extensions that improve land-use, spur private investment and significantly reduce transportation-related emissions in metropolitan areas.
We strongly urge to you provide robust funding for transit and transportation investment in future versions of the "Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act." In addition to benefiting the environment, these investments will be a significant source of employment. Every $1 billion invested in federally aided public transportation capital projects supports approximately 30,000 jobs.
Thank you for your continued support of public transportation. We look forward to working with you to advance this vital legislation.