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WASHINGTON -- The “Green Bus Act” (H.R. 2164), introduced earlier this month by U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley from California, would increase federal funding available for the purchase of zero-emissions buses over the next ten years and require that all buses purchased with federal funds be zero-emissions by 2029.
According to a growing body of research, vehicles running on fossil fuels, such as diesel buses, cause significant negative health effects on surrounding communities. As many as 4 million new cases of pediatric asthma occur every year because of exposure to traffic fumes. Pregnant women who live closer to traffic-related air pollution are more likely to give birth to small babies. People living near highly traveled roads face an increased risk of developing lung cancer, and a greater risk of death from stroke, lung disease and heart disease.
Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG transportation campaign director, issued the following statement in support of the legislation:
“Buses play a key role in American society, but the majority of these vehicles on our roads run on diesel, and less than one percent are zero-emissions, all-electric models. There is no reason we should be running polluting buses that make us sick when we have better options. Electric buses are readily available. With zero-tailpipe emissions, they’re cleaner, healthier, and thanks to avoided fuel and maintenance costs, can save transit agencies money in the long-run.
“U.S. PIRG commends Rep. Brownley for her leadership on electric buses. This bill will help drive healthier communities across the nation. Many transit agencies want to make the switch to electric buses, but they can’t always come up with the funds necessary to meet the upfront costs. The increased funding this bill would provide -- and the requirement that all buses purchased using federal funds be zero-emissions by 2029 -- would go a long way towards getting more clean buses on our roads.”
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