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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis June 28, 2013
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Obama Addresses Climate Change

President Obama announced on June 25 a sweeping package of policy measures to address global climate change, including a handful of actions targeted to transportation and infrastructure.

The measures in the president’s Climate Action Plan are clustered under three far-reaching goals: cut carbon pollution in America, prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change.

The plan breaks down each goal into specific steps and actions or proposals. Excerpts of those related to transportation and transportation infrastructure follow:

Cut Carbon Pollution In America
Building a 21st-Century Transportation Sector
* Increasing Fuel Economy Standards: In 2011, the administration finalized fuel economy standards for Model Year 2014-2018 for heavy-duty trucks, buses, and vans, which the administration says will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 270 million metric tons and save 530 million barrels of oil. In the second term, the administration will partner with industry leaders and others to develop post-2018 fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles to further reduce fuel consumption.

* Developing and Deploying Advanced Transportation Technologies: The administration will leverage public-private partnerships to deploy cleaner fuels in every transportation mode, and will continue to work to improve transportation options and lower costs.

Prepare the U.S. for the Impacts of Climate Change
Building Stronger, Safer Communities and Infrastructure
* Supporting Communities as They Prepare for Climate Impacts: Throughout 2013, FHWA is working with 19 state and regional partners and other federal agencies to assess local transportation infrastructure vulnerability.

* Boosting the Resilience of Buildings and Infrastructure: The president’s FY 2014 budget proposes $200 million through the Transportation Leadership Awards program for Climate Ready Infrastructure in communities that build enhanced preparedness into planning efforts and have either proposed or are ready to break ground on infrastructure projects, including public transit and rail.

* Rebuilding and Learning from Hurricane Sandy: FTA is dedicating $5.7 billion to four of the area’s most impacted public transit agencies, of which $1.3 billion will be allocated to locally prioritized projects to make the systems more resilient. FTA also will develop a competitive process for additional funding to identify and support larger, stand-alone resilience projects in the region.

Protecting Our Economy and Natural Resources
* Assessing Climate-Change Impacts in the U.S.: In spring 2014, the administration will release the third U.S. National Climate Assessment, highlighting new advances in climate-change impacts nationwide and on critical sectors of the economy, including transportation.

* Providing a Toolkit for Climate Resilience: Federal agencies will create a virtual climate resilience toolkit that centralizes access to tools, services, and best practices, including interactive sea-level rise maps and a calculator to aid post-Sandy rebuilding in New York and New Jersey.

For details, click here.
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