Carper’s greenish victory

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Good afternoon everyone,

As noted yesterday, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper co-authored a bill that will provide money forhighways with funds set aside for cleaner air and efforts to fight climate change.

The $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Actunanimously passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

The bill is dwarfed by far more ambitious proposals that call for $1 trillion in spending on infrastructure.

The bill sticks with the basics in funding the nation’s deteriorating and traffic-choked roads and bridges, but also includes billions in green funding that include making the system more resilient in dealing with extreme weather events. Many believe more intense weather is partially due to climate change

Delaware, the state with the largest percentage of low-lying territory, would clearly benefit.

Tucked into the bill are grants for electric charging stations, hydrogen and natural gas refueling, and other infrastructure, grants for projects that reduce vehicle pollution and measures that seek to electrify the nation’s ports. (We’re beginning to see the Port of Wilmington under new management use more battery-powered equipment to replace diesel engines).

The bill has bipartisan support, but the Trump Administration and fellow climate change skeptics could seek to strip out clean air and electric vehicle provisions.

We saw a small example of that stance in Delaware during the last sessionwhen Republicans managed to stop plans to add additional charging stations, citing the lack of electric vehicles in the state.

Based on recent motor vehicle figures, Delaware has about 1,000 electric vehicles. If you add in plug-in hybrids, the number swells to 12,000 with some of those drivers expected to switch to all-electric.

In the U.S. House, some members of the Green New Deal faction may see the bill as a honey pot for big business and push for more transit funding or more grandiose green initiatives.

Still, Delaware’s senior senator can savor a rare victory and hope the desire for a deal in a contentious and sometimes toxic environment will move the legislation forward.

Enjoy the day and keep an eye on the weather.

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