ALERT! Tell Congress to Vote NO on House Transportation Bill (HR 7)-- Attack on Public Transit, Civil Rights and Enviro Justice
House Republican Committees have voted to eviscerate transit in the federal transportation bill by eliminating the 20% share of dedicated funding for transit and giving 100% of federal funds to roads and highways. But there are also a series of provisions in the bill targeting our grassroots communities of color who make up the backbone of transit ridership across the country.
Act NOW - call your Congressional Representative and Speaker Boehner
Give them 7 reasons to VOTE NO on H.R. 7
(the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act)
1. We must maintain 30 years of dedicated federal commitment to supporting mass transit, creating jobs and protecting civil rights and environmental justice.
2. HR 7 would eliminate dedicated federal funding for mass transit and trigger massive service cuts and fare increases across the country
3. HR 7 would eliminate key environmental & transportation planning tools that protect EJ and Civil Rights!
4. HR 7 lets transit agencies off the hook from having to evaluate alternatives to costly capital projects (under the New Starts program) that often disproportionately impact low income and communities of color
5. HR 7 would expand offshore oil and gas drilling and open a back door to projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline.
6. HR 7 would allow "air quality improvement" funds from the CMAQ program to be used for highway expansions
7. HR 7 would pressure transit agencies to choose between flexing funds to stop service cuts/fare increases and privatizing public transit.
To Contact Your
Congressional Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
To Contact Speaker Boehner: Phone: (202) 225-0600
Fax: (202) 225-5117
Questions or media inquires:
Porchas - Coordinator, Transit Riders for Public Transportation |firstname.lastname@example.org
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via Twitter/text: http://bit.ly/w63KZt
Reasons to vote no on H.R. 7 (the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act) and maintain 30 years of dedicated federal commitment to supporting mass transit, creating jobs and protecting civil rights and environmental justice:
1. It would eliminate all dedicated federal funding for mass transit.
The bill would eliminate the 2.86 cent portion of the 18 cent federal gasoline tax currently dedicated to mass transit and “replace it” with unidentified general fund revenue from the federal budget. The current dedicated federal funding formula of 80% for highways and 20% for transit would now be 100% for highways and roads! Transit operators would be forced to make historic cuts in service and institute massive fare increases as they cut operations costs to backfill billions in lost capital funds from the House bill
2. It would eliminate environmental & transportation planning tools that protect EJ and Civil Rights!
In the name of “streamlining environmental project review,” the bill makes it easier to bypass many current environmental regulations (NEPA, Judicial Review, Categorical Exclusions ) that force project managers, planners, and engineers to quantify impacts on people and nature as well as consider alternatives to the project. Also gives president authority to waive environmental review to “expedite” a project.
3. It lets transit agencies off the hook from having to give alternatives to capital projects that often have a racially discriminatory impact on low income and communities of color.
The bill proposes to eliminate “New Starts alternatives analysis” and “consolidate steps in the review process.” This will eliminate checks and balances against “boondoggle” projects funded by the New Starts program. Historically, many of these costly New Starts projects have disproportionately burdened, displaced or failed to benefit low income and communities of color (for example, a rail extension that would bypass neighborhoods of color while taking more affluent, white riders to the airport).
4. It would expand offshore oil and gas drilling and open a back door to projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The bill proposes to use revenue from expanded offshore oil/gas drilling to pay for the bill, expanding dirty energy production at the expense of addressing climate change and clean energy production. In addition, Speaker Boehner has threatened to attach the Keystone Pipeline proposal to the House Transportation bill.
5. Allows “air quality improvement” (CMAQ) funds to be used for highway expansions
.The House bill would change the CMAQ program by making congestion reduction, not air quality, a criterion for eligibility. With these changes a project doesn’t need to reduce air pollution it just needs to be “likely” to reduce congestion. Under this new definition, the construction of new highway lanes qualifies for CMAQ funding. Many states and MPOs would likely use CMAQ funds for highway construction at the expense of expanding transit service, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly projects.
6. Ties funding flexibility for transit operators to anti-union measures.
The bill would allow transit operators the ability to flex a portion of their capital funds for operating expenses in exchange for increased “public-private partnerships” that will mean privatizing union jobs and continuing the assault on the public sector work force
About Francisca Porchas
- Jan 22 2013