Congress: New Climate Change Bill Passes House Committee

A new climate change act has passed House committee. The act includes two several important measures that will help create better, safer accommodations for walking and bicycling.
Congressman Jim Oberstar at the 2007 National Bike Summit

The act, sponsored by Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, promotes complete streets, alternative fuels, and proportional rescissions.

Oberstar is one of the key supporters of bicycling and walking in Congress.
On June 20, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved major legislation to reduce global warming. The Transportation Energy Security and Climate Change Mitigation Act of 2007 will promote complete streets, increased ridership on public transportation, require transportation to become more energy efficient and create incentives for the use of alternative fuel vehicles. Among the bicycle and pedestrian incentives in the bill are:

  • A "Sense of Congress" expressing support for "Complete Streets" policies when roadways are constructed or rehabilitated Complete streets accommodate the needs of a variety of users, including motorists, transit riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, and people of all ages and abilities.

  • Proportional Rescissions of FHWA Program Funds Includes language to ensure that rescissions (READ: return) of Federal Highway funds are implemented by states proportionally. Recent state rescissions have disproportionately targeted programs such as Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, and Transportation Enhancements, which provide significant environmental benefits and are often used for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
"Each of these is an individual modest step but added up it's significant," said committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn).
These measures, including Complete Streets and fair application of rescissions, where some of those the MoBikeFed and St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation representatives discusses with our congressional leaders during the National Bike Summit in March 2007.

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