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Electric School Bus Advocates Cheer the House’s CLEAN Future Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Pita Juarez, Chispa: [email protected], 602-413-4421
Judith Nemes, ELPC: [email protected], 773-892-7494
Siham Zniber, Earthjustice: [email protected]
Mariah Chinchilla, Dream Corps Green For All: [email protected], 510-272-7522
Ethan Evans, U.S. PIRG: [email protected], 931-691-0905

Electric School Bus Advocates Cheer $25 Billion Commitment for a Clean Ride for Kids in House’s CLEAN Future Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Energy Subcommittee Chair Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chair Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives. This comprehensive climate bill contains a bold and forward-looking provision led by Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) and Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA): a revised Clean Commute for Kids Act. Authorizing an investment of $25 billion to rapidly transition almost half the school bus fleet to clean, electric buses, this bill would target grants to school districts serving communities with unhealthy air pollution and lower incomes. Electric school bus advocates — who yesterday sent a letter encouraging such an investment to the Biden-Harris administration and are part of the national Electric School Bus (ESB) Coalition, a diverse partnership of equity, labor, public health, clean energy, and environmental organizations — issued the following statements:

Johana Vicente, National Director of Chispa, a program of the League of Conservation Voters, said:
“We applaud Representatives Hayes and Cárdenas for this bold investment to accelerate the transition of the nation’s fleet from dirty, diesel-fueled school buses to zero-emission, electric school buses. Investing $25 billion would mean helping 25 million children riding school buses breathe cleaner air in the formative years when their lungs are developing. Directing significant portions of this funding to low-income communities of color, who face the worst effects of environmental pollution, will ensure that we are addressing the needs of impacted communities first. After years of parents, students, and advocates organizing for a clean ride for kids, we are excited to work with Congress to pass funding to bring more electric school buses to communities throughout the country.”

Susan Mudd, Senior Policy Advocate, Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC), said:
“We look forward to kids getting back to school. The 25 million U.S. children who ride on school buses deserve a clean, healthy ride instead of breathing asthma-inducing fumes from dirty diesel buses. We need to replace the dirty diesel fleet with zero-emission electric buses that protect students’ health, their communities and the climate. We are thrilled to see a robust investment in zero-emission buses for kids in the CLEAN Future Act introduced today. With a $25 billion investment we can transition nearly half of the dirty bus fleet to pollution-free electric buses across the Midwest and the country.”

Jessica Ennis, Legislative Director for Climate & Energy at Earthjustice, said: 
“With time running out to avoid climate catastrophe, we need bold and equitable action to move away from fossil fuels to a 100% clean energy economy. We are pleased to see the House dialing up its ambitions to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice with the CLEAN Future Act. The bill includes policies that would accelerate the transition to zero emissions transportation powered by 100% clean energy. The bill adopts President Biden’s goal for a 100% clean electricity sector by 2035 and integrates his Justice40 Initiative into several key areas. We thank Chairman Pallone, Chairman Tonko, and Chairman Rush for their leadership, and look forward to working with them and the committee on further improving this important legislation.” 

Michelle Romero, National Director of Dream Corps Green For All, said:
“We applaud the House of Representatives for prioritizing school districts that serve low-income families and communities with unhealthy air pollution, by allocating $25 billion for electric school buses in the CLEAN Future Act. This demonstrates a serious commitment to swiftly transition to pollution-free school bus fleets that are safer and healthier for both kids and communities.”

Ethan Evans, Campaign Associate at U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), said:
“We look forward to working with Congress on championing childrens’ health and helping to fund the electrification of nearly half of our nation’s school buses. Federal funding for electric school buses will help tackle the existential threat of climate change, clean up the air that our kids and communities breathe, and accelerate the process towards a zero-emission future.”

Margarita Parra, Transportation Program Director for Clean Energy Works, said:
“We are pleased to see the ambitious commitment from the House’s CLEAN Future Act which would use the Clean Commute for Kids funding to bring zero tailpipe emissions technologies to school buses, giving our children cleaner air. This investment will benefit our communities, school districts, manufacturers and can leverage private investment by utilities to benefit even more children.” 

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