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Saturday, August 13, 2022

There’s A Better Way to Address Rising Gas Prices – Streetsblog USA

Supporters of sustainable transportation are sending a clear message to Washington: The best way to deal with rising gas prices is to reduce demand for oil, not increase supply.

Public transport supporters sighed at the news last week that President Biden would approve the release of up to 50 million barrels of emergency oil reserves in a concerted effort with countries like Britain, Japan and South Korea to lower gasoline costs worldwide.

Experts were skeptical that the modest increase would cause significant damage to pump prices; World average oil consumption 100 million Oil barrels daily, and the contribution of other countries to the agreement is not expected to be as large as that of the United States. But some supporters fear the move betrays a bigger truth about the administration’s short-sighted strategy to stay away from fossil fuels – and their ignorance about quick and cost-effective ways to reduce demand for fossil fuels, rather than simply increase supply.

Biden is not the only legislator to raise accusations of green hypocrisy.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and 10 other Democratic senators (including outspoken climate leaders like Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts) drew criticism earlier this month when they Implored the President To “ensure that Americans can afford to fill their cars with a pump in the meantime” while they wait for the development of “clean and renewable energy in the long run”.

Lawyers have complained that Americans have no choice but to continue to fill the pump until the electric vehicle revolution reaches full force – or that government intervention could not help them quickly and affordably access mobile options that could reduce emissions tomorrow, by implementing emergency interventions to make transportation, walking and mobility Reduced to more realistic ways to get around.

Even state and local lawmakers – a group that is even more willing to provide fast-moving mobile interventions that reduce the need for gasoline than the federal ones – were not immune to the backlash.

Ned Lamont of Connecticut – who was applauded by attorneys in June when he signed Law A. $ 30 million The Community Grant Program for Combating Climate Change – was criticized when it hesitantly praised Biden’s decision to exploit oil reserves, destiny The move is an “appropriate” solution to “short-term supply problems.”

Climate change activists have been disappointed, especially in light of Lemont’s recent deliberation on Connecticut’s participation in the Transport and Climate Initiative (TCI), a compact between 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that will limit fuel emissions to transportation in the region through tariffs and trade. System, and invest the revenues from “allowances” collected by fossil fuel suppliers in local sustainable transportation projects. Lemont initially supported the effort, but recently defendant It would be politically intolerable “with fuel prices where they are”. (The TCI will raise gas prices by estimate 5 to 24 Cents per gallon.)

Lamont later Retreated backwards On the comments, but local supporters slammed him for offering cheap gas as a bargaining chip in negotiating the future of the region’s climate.

“We do not bargain for the climate,” Thomas Reagan-Lefebvre, coordinator of the Hartford Academy of Transportation, commented. Hartford Currant. “We do not bargain for people’s health and air pollution. … Climate should not be part of a classic zero-sum game.”

Worse, Lemont’s indecision has given other leaders political coverage to abandon their green goals. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker – Formerly considered the driving force behind the Transportation Climate Initiative – Took his country out Of the completely historic agreement last week, noting that the Gulf state “will move forward with TCI only if a number of states commit.” Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee Followed him By canceling his state commitment the next day, raising the concern that the deal is actually dead.

Of course, even with big agreements like the TCI announced by the DOA, there is still much that state and local leaders can do to reduce demand for gasoline – even if Washington insists on increasing oil supplies.

If the Covid-19 epidemic has taught Americans anything, it’s these transportation systems tin It can be re-imagined overnight, especially in city centers where the biggest barriers to sustainable transportation are related to the dangers and inconveniences involved in dominating a vehicle, rather than near the destinations people rely on. High-speed bus transportation routes, open streets without cars and protected bike lanes for fast construction are all fast and cheap ways in which cities can give residents great ways without cars to get around – and during the first days of quarantine, many of them I already did.

Making such interventions permanent, of course, takes more time, and it certainly requires more money. (although Not close As much as it takes to build the world around cars.) But in the midst of a crisis of this scale, some proponents argue that it is the moral commitment of leaders at every level of government to provide the emergency relief needed to expedite these changes. Make them an ongoing reality on a large scale.

And driving reduction is a key element in repairing the national traffic violence crisis that claimed more than 20,000 lives in the U.S. in the first half of 2021, and which is on track to make it the deadliest year on U.S. roads since 2007.

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