(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
As we work to pass legislation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create millions of clean energy jobs, and protect our children from pollution, we need to consider global warming pollution from the transportation sector.
Why? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation activities account for about a third of all U.S. global warming emissions.
The Obama Administration has already taken important steps this year to address global warming pollution from motor vehicles. In May, the President brought together the federal government, the State of California, and the auto industry behind a nationwide program to cut new vehicle carbon emissions and raise gas mileage requirements, along with new national automobile emissions standards that follow California’s lead.
And on June 30, the EPA finally granted California’s request for a waiver, providing the green light to my state, and more than a dozen others, to tackle tailpipe emissions of global warming pollution. The granting of this waiver will unleash innovative technologies that will create millions of new jobs as we move toward new cleaner and more efficient vehicles. It will also make our families and communities healthier, since more efficient transportation also reduces the smog and soot pollution, which is associated with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
In my own state, entrepreneurs are already making great strides in developing highly efficient clean electric and hybrid vehicles, and advanced renewable fuels based on algae.
To continue to achieve significant reductions in transportation emissions, we will need cleaner, more efficient cars, advanced, clean-burning renewable fuels, and development policies that can reduce the distances
Americans need to travel every day. We also need to invest in better transit systems and other ways to help reduce emissions from the transportation sector.
National global warming legislation is the best way to unleash the power of American innovation from coast to coast to create the full array of solutions we will need to step up to this challenge.
I look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses today on the role the transportation sector can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.