Texas Could Spend U.S. Funds Meant To Cut CO2 Emissions On Highway Projects

"The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act required Texas’ transportation agency to create a carbon reduction strategy to get $641 million federal dollars. Critics say the plan is unlikely to meaningfully cut greenhouse gasses from the state’s massive transportation sector."

"The Texas Department of Transportation plans to spend about half a billion federal dollars on projects that the agency says will lessen the amount of climate-warming carbon dioxide emitted into the air.

But environmental and public transportation advocates say the agency’s draft “Carbon Reduction Strategy” is unlikely to substantially cut carbon emissions from the transportation sector, which emits the most greenhouse gasses of any state.

According to the TxDOT draft document, a chunk of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act money will be transferred to a highway program, and the agency says highway expansions could be eligible for the funds because they will reduce congestion, thereby reducing emissions from idling cars.

Harrison Humphreys, a research and policy coordinator at Air Alliance Houston, an environmental advocacy group, said he sees the strategy as doing “the bare minimum” to get the federal dollars and called the document “disappointing.”"

Erin Douglas reports for the Texas Tribune November 6, 2023.

Source: Texas Tribune, 11/07/2023