Keep New Roads Out of Economic Stimulus Package


December 16, 2008

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

‘New Roads = New Pollution’ campaign calls for economic stimulus that creates jobs by investing in clean transportation options and highway and bridge maintenance, not new roads

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Friends of the Earth today launched a campaign for economic stimulus legislation that creates green jobs by investing in clean transportation options including public transit, passenger rail, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure—and not new roads.

“More roads mean more pollution and more dependence on oil—hurting our economy, security and climate,” said Colin Peppard of Friends of the Earth. “Investments in clean transportation alternatives, as well as road and bridge maintenance and repair, create more jobs than new road construction and help families save money on gas. Focusing an economic stimulus package on such clean investments should be a no-brainer.”

Transportation is responsible for 30 percent of the United States’ global warming pollution and nearly 70 percent of its oil use, making transportation policy a critical part of the broader climate and energy debate. Studies show that road and bridge construction lead to more driving, and therefore more global warming pollution and oil consumption. Ten miles of new four-lane highway result in emissions equivalent to the lifetime emissions of more than 45,000 Hummers, according to Friends of the Earth.

“Unfortunately, the road-building lobby is attempting to hijack the stimulus and divert billions of dollars to unnecessary road projects that would deepen our nation’s dependence on oil and increase greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kate McMahon of Friends of the Earth. “The public needs to make it clear that the old way of doling out transportation funds—where pork-barrel politics and earmarks ruled the day—must end. We need smart and clean investments, not more bridges to nowhere.”

Friends of the Earth announced the launch of a new website focused on keeping the transportation section of any economic recovery package clean, as well as plans to run ads, mobilize grassroots activists, and reach out to members of Congress.

More information about the campaign and the ways in which clean transportation investments create jobs can be found here: http://www.RoadToNowhere.org.

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Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.