Nebraska DOT Seeking Feedback on Carbon Reduction Plan

The Nebraska DOT is gathering public opinion on its proposed strategies for reducing transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions via an online survey.

[Above photo by Nebraska DOT]

That is the final part of the agency’s efforts to form a statewide Carbon Reduction Strategy or CRS by November 15; a deadline fixed by the Carbon Reduction Program or CRP as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA enacted in 2021.

The CRP – a new federal program intended to fund surface transportation carbon emission reduction efforts – requires states to develop a CRS in consultation with metropolitan planning organizations by November 15.

The Nebraska DOT noted in a statement that the transportation sector is the second largest source of carbon emissions in the state, preceded by the electric generation sector.

Activities that contribute to those emissions include the burning of petroleum-based fuels in vehicles as well as from “infrastructure-related” emissions, such as from road construction activities and street lighting, it noted.

The agency said its CRS-development process will pinpoint strategies to reduce carbon that are “proven, effective, and context-sensitive” for Nebraska. 

Thus far, Nebraska DOT said it has completed “extensive internal research and interviews” regarding existing policies and activities contributing to carbon reduction, held individual consultations with each of Nebraska’s four MPOs, and distributed a survey to institutional partners.

Colorado DOT Preps for Greener Aircraft to Fill the Skies

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics wants to get its 76 public use airports ready for alternatively powered aircraft and the fuels they use.

[Above photo by the Colorado DOT]

The agency is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory or NREL to study which alternative fuel aircraft could use its airports and what changes would have to be made to accommodate the planes and their fuels. The Colorado Aeronautical Board is putting up $400,000 to support the NREL study, which will take about 18 months to complete.

Preparing the airports for alternative fuel aircraft “will make air transportation in Colorado more efficient, more equitable and accessible, with reduced environmental impacts,” Colorado Aeronautics Division Director David Ulane said in a statement.

U.S. air travel contributes about 2.7 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2021 Aviation Climate Action Plan, which seeks to put the industry on a path toward net-zero emissions by 2050.

A recent report from global consultant McKinsey estimates that aircraft using hydrogen or electric power could comprise up to 38 percent of the global aircraft fleet by 2050. The report says airports will have to make significant financial and land investments to meet the fuel generation and storage demands of alternative fueled aircraft.

A major international airport such as Denver International Airport, which is one of the busiest in the world, could expect to invest about $3.9 billion in infrastructure to shift toward alternative propulsion by 2050, the report concluded.

Assessing those infrastructure needs is one of the goals of the Colorado study. Other objectives include:

  • Identifying new alternatively powered aircraft that could utilize Colorado’s airports.
  • Identifying at which airports battery-electric general aviation aircraft could be deployed.
  • Identifying government policy and regulatory considerations, financial impacts, and potential incentives to encourage and support new aviation technology.
  • Exploring opportunities to make travel faster and more efficient while broadening access to air travel and reducing environmental impacts.

“Colorado’s Division of Aeronautics is undertaking a first-of-its-kind statewide evaluation of next-generation aircraft, aviation fuels, and implications on necessary infrastructure,” NREL Strategic Partnerships Manager Brett Oakleaf added. “This leadership is critical for preparing and de-risking the aviation transition for Colorado and its airports.”

State departments of transportation play a critical role in the aviation sector, especially when it comes to airport infrastructure needs.

For example, several state DOT studies – including ones from IowaIllinoisGeorgiaWyoming, and Alaska – show that airports function as significant “economic engines” as well as key mobility hubs for many states.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials also recently published a new report analyzing the impact of general aviation on state and local economies across the country.

That report – officially entitled “The Impact of General Aviation on State and Local Economies: State Reports 2023” – is a joint effort between AASHTO, the Alliance for Aviation Across America, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials.

AASHTO said this report is envisioned as a communication resource to help illustrate the important role general aviation serves in state and local communities, as well as within the nation’s economy.

Oregon DOT Website Tracks GHG Emission Reductions

The Oregon Department of Transportation recently unveiled a website that tracks how the state’s public agencies are collectively reducing greenhouse gas or GHG emissions across Oregon.

[Above photo by the Oregon DOT]

The Oregon Transportation Emission website pulls together regulations, programs, funding, goals, and partnerships into one place, then rates progress across six transportation categories toward the state’s goal of reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Currently, Oregon is on track to reduce GHG emission to 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, according to Oregon DOT.

Overall in Oregon, emissions from transportation represent 35 percent of total statewide GHG emissions, according to the latest state data.

“Our objectives are to support reductions in how far and how often people drive, and for each mile driven to be clean,” noted Amanda Pietz, administrator for the agency’s policy, data, and analysis division, in a statement. “Overall, we’re doing well to reach our 2050 goals, and we have plans to improve in some areas to get us all the way there.”

The website was created by Oregon DOT in partnership with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Oregon Department of Energy, and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. It is based on the Statewide Transportation Strategy: a 2050 Vision for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction, and progress is tracked against many of the strategy’s goals.

The Oregon DOT noted that recent state regulations governing GHG emissions from cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles or SUVs — alongside a shift to electric vehicles or EVs — should yield the “biggest reduction” in such emissions in the coming decades.

Meanwhile, areas with the “most room for improvement” where GHGs are concerned are reducing vehicle miles traveled — how far and how often people drive — as well as reducing GHG emissions from larger trucks and transit vehicles. The Oregon DOT said “progress can be made” in those areas via investing in active modes like walking, rolling and biking; improving transit services; pricing the transportation system; and enacting land use policies to support shorter trips.

States and localities are engaged in similar emission reduction activities across the country as outlined in a knowledge session held during the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2023 Washington Briefing, held February 28 through March 3 in Washington, D.C.

Concurrently, at the federal level, the U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Environmental Protection Agency signed a memorandum of understanding or MOU in September 2022 to reduce GHG emissions associated with the transportation sector while concurrently ensuring “resilient and accessible mobility options” for all Americans.

USDOT, DOE Help Push Sustainable Aviation Fuel Development

The U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Energy recently released the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge Roadmap as part of what they dubbed a “government-wide strategy” for scaling up sustainable aviation fuel production across the country.

[Above photo by DOE]

That roadmap – a collaboration between USDOT, DOE, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency – outlines actions designed to spur technological innovation to produce sustainable aviation fuel or SAF, reduce greenhouse gas or GHG emissions, and enable the United States to meet its domestic climate goals. It also seeks to position the United States as a “global leader” in the emerging SAF market.  

Made from renewable biomass and other resources, including winter oilseed crops, agricultural and forestry residues, and municipal solid waste streams, USDOT said there is enough collectible biomass available in the U.S. to produce 50 billion to 60 billion gallons of low-carbon fuels annually.

According to a joint USDOT and DOE statement, the SAF Grand Challenge Roadmap aligns government and industry actions to achieve the three major goals of the SAF Grand Challenge outlined by those agencies in 2021: 

  • Achieve a minimum of a 50 percent reduction in life cycle GHG emissions compared to conventional fuel; 
  • Produce three billion gallons of SAF per year by 2030; and 
  • Supply sufficient SAF to meet 100 percent of aviation fuel demand by 2050. 

USDOT noted that U.S. commercial aviation currently consumes approximately 10 percent of all transportation energy and is a significant contributor to domestic GHG emissions. SAF has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel, but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, USDOT added – adding that “emerging SAF” pathways even offer the potential for a “net-negative” GHG footprint.

State departments are engaged in similar sustainable aviation promotion efforts.

For example, on September 23, the aviation division of the Washington State Department of Transportation began accepting applications for a new airport grant program that funds sustainable aviation projects.

The agency said in a statement that such projects may include electrification of ground support equipment; electric aircraft charging infrastructure; airport clean power production; electric vehicle charging stations or fuel cell electric vehicle hydrogen stations whose infrastructure may also support ground support equipment and/or electric aircraft charging; and sustainable aviation fuel storage.

Four Federal Agencies Planning Broad GHG Reduction Effort

The U.S. Departments of Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Environmental Protection Agency recently signed a memorandum of understanding or MOU to reduce greenhouse gas or GHG emissions associated with the transportation sector while concurrently ensuring “resilient and accessible mobility options” for all Americans.

[Above photo by USDOT]

The MOU commits the agencies to release within 90 days of its signing a comprehensive blueprint for decarbonizing the transportation sector that will help guide future policy decisions, as well as research, development, demonstration, and deployment in the public and private sectors.

That blueprint will also ensure a coordinated “whole-of-government” approach to address challenges to achieving widespread and equitable de-carbonization of the domestic transportation sector. This includes increasing access to safe, active transportation options, providing clean and affordable transit options, modernizing the grid to meet increased demands from the electric vehicle sector, and reducing emissions from the entire lifecycle of transportation, including emissions from construction.

Domestic transportation – including both passenger and freight modes – produces more GHG emissions than any other sector, those four agencies noted in a joint statement. Thus by working together with states, local communities, tribal communities, labor unions, nonprofits, and the private sector, they hope to promote low- and zero-emission transportation solutions to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, create clean transportation jobs, and support the Biden administration’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. 

Those four agencies said that the billions of dollars in “clean transportation” funding allocated through the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in November 2021 as well as the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act enacted in August makes the United States “well-positioned” to take reduced GHGs while creating “millions of jobs” for American workers.

The agencies said they plan to accomplish both goals by increasing access to more efficient modes of transportation such as walking, biking, transit and rail, while lowering the costs of electric vehicles and other zero emission vehicles and fuels. That would allow American families and businesses to benefit from and enjoy the benefits of this “affordable clean energy revolution,” those agencies said.

EPA Proposes New Emission Rules for Trucks, Engines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to introduce stricter heavy-duty vehicle and engine emission rules starting in model year 2027.

[Above photo by the Missouri DOT]

The proposed standards would reduce emissions of smog- and soot-forming nitrogen oxides or NOx from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines, EPA said, while updating commercial vehicle greenhouse gas or GHG standards in certain categories. 

Those GHG revisions focus on “subsectors” of the transportation industry where “electrification is advancing at a more rapid pace,” the agency said, such as school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks, and short-haul tractors.

[Editor’s note: The U.S. Department of Energy released a 69-page study on March 7 compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory purportedly showing that, by 2030, nearly half of medium- and heavy-duty trucks will be cheaper to buy, operate, and maintain as zero-emissions models versus traditional diesel-powered units.]

In a separate action, EPA said it plans to establish new GHG emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles as soon as model year 2030 – and action it said would “more comprehensively address” the long-term trend towards zero-emissions vehicles across the heavy-duty vehicle sector.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan noted in a statement that the proposed rule would help “chart a path” to increase the use of zero-emission models while reducing the exposure of communities comprised of “low income” residents and “people of color” to the pollution that causes respiratory and cardiovascular problems, among other serious health effects.

Consistent with an executive order issued by President Biden in August 2021, the new proposed rule would reduce NOx emissions from trucks by as much as 60 percent in 2045, with benefits exceeding its costs by “billions of dollars,” the EPA said. Those potential benefits include:

  • Up to 2,100 fewer premature deaths.
  • Roughly 6,700 fewer hospital admissions and emergency department visits. 
  • Some 18,000 fewer cases of asthma onset in children.
  • About 3.1 million fewer cases of asthma symptoms and allergic rhinitis symptoms.
  • Some 78,000 fewer lost days of work.
  • About 1.1 million fewer lost school days for children.

The EPA added that this rulemaking effort is the “first step” in its longer-term “Clean Trucks Plan” – a series of clean air and climate regulations that the agency said it plans to develop over the next three years to reduce pollution from trucks and buses and to advance the transition to a zero-emissions transportation future. 

Several states are creating similar emission reduction plans for vehicles, with state departments of transportation taking an active role in such efforts.

For example, in August 2021, the Colorado Transportation Commission proposed new transportation pollution reduction planning standards to cut GHG emissions from the state’s transportation sector while improving statewide air quality and reducing smog.

That proposed rule would require the Colorado Department of Transportation and the state’s five Metropolitan Planning Organizations to determine total pollution and GHG emissions increase or decrease expected from future transportation projects while taking steps to ensure that total GHG emission levels do not exceed set reduction amounts.

Furthermore, the Colorado DOT – in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment – recently unveiled the daft of a “Clean Truck Strategy” that seeks to lower greenhouse gas or GHG emissions from heavy- and medium-duty vehicles by at least 45 percent statewide by 2050.

Meanwhile, in January, California introduced a $6.1 billion zero-emission vehicle or ZEV fiscal support package to accelerate the state’s transition to ZEVs and “fight climate change” in the process.

Combined with a $3.9 billion ZEV investment package signed into law in September 2021, California would ultimately outlay $10 billion to support broader ZEV deployment statewide. That spending also dovetails with an executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom (D) in September 2020 that requires that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California by 2035 must be zero-emission vehicles.

Concurrently, the Maryland Transit Administration – a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation – is moving forward to implement the state’s new Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act, which mandates all new buses procured for Maryland’s transit fleet be emission-free beginning in 2023.

The agency said it has committed to converting 50 percent of its bus fleet to zero-emission by 2030 while “seamlessly providing reliable, efficient service throughout the transition and beyond.”

Two Governors Unveil ‘Clean Transportation’ Executive Orders

The governors of North Carolina and Connecticut recently issued executive orders that mandate the formation of “clean transportation” plans to reduce greenhouse gas or GHG emissions in their respective states.

[Above photo by the NCDOT]

Governor Roy Cooper (D) issued an executive order on January 7 that includes a directive to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to develop a North Carolina Clean Transportation Plan for decarbonizing the transportation sector through reductions in vehicle miles traveled, an increase in zero-emission cars, trucks, and buses, along with other GHG-reduction strategies.

“Transforming North Carolina toward a clean energy and more equitable economy will provide good jobs and a healthy environment for generations of families across our state,” Gov. Cooper said in a statement. “This order will assess our progress reducing climate pollution, and direct ways to curb environmental injustices, increase clean transportation options, and build more resilient communities in North Carolina.”

Gov. Cooper by NCDOT

The governor’s order updates North Carolina’s economy-wide carbon reduction emissions goals to “align with climate science, reduce pollution, create good jobs and protect communities,” while increasing the statewide GHG reduction goal to 50 percent when compared to the state’s 2005 levels.

The order calls for the increase in registered zero-emission vehicles to a total of 1.25 million by 2030, with 50 percent of sales of new vehicles in North Carolina to be zero-emission by that same year.

“This executive order ensures our state is preparing for and supporting emerging technologies,” added J. Eric Boyette, NCDOT’s secretary. “We are committed to working with our state and local partners to develop a clean transportation plan – one that will benefit all North Carolinians.”

Gov. Cooper’s order mirrors a similar one issued by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) in December 2021.

Gov. Lamont’s order directs Connecticut executive branch state agencies to take “significant actions” within their authority to reduce carbon emissions.

“Climate change is here, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t take meaningful action,” he said in a statement. “In September [2021], a bad progress report showed that we’re in danger of missing our statutory greenhouse gas reduction goals, so we need to roll up our sleeves and do the necessary work to improve. That work starts with us in the executive branch, and that’s why I’m directing our state agencies to take these actions.”

That “progress report” – officially known as Connecticut’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report – shows that GHG emissions from the state’s transportation and building sectors are increasing, meaning that Connecticut is not on track to meet its interim 2030 target.

Gov. Lamont by the Connecticut Governor’s Office

Gov. Lamont said the state must take “aggressive action” where possible within existing authority to reduce carbon emissions, and that is why he is directing a whole-of-government approach with his executive order and calling on the Connecticut General Assembly to authorize expanded investment and de-carbonization programs.

Transportation measures within the governor’s order include the creation of a statewide battery-powered electric bus fleet; the funding of “shovel-ready” infrastructure resilience projects; plus regulating emissions from medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

It also directs the Connecticut Department of Transportation to cease buying directly or provide state funding to third parties for the purchase of diesel buses by the end of 2023 and create an implementation plan for full bus fleet electrification by 2035. It also directs the Connecticut DOT to set a statewide 2030 Vehicle Miles Traveled or VMT reduction target.

“Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation can be the biggest driver to reduce air pollutants,” noted Joseph Giulietti, commissioner of the Connecticut DOT.

“Connecticut families and communities, especially the ones most vulnerable and historically underserved, deserve clean transportation,” he added. “The [Connecticut] DOT will do our part, while listening to and working with our partners in health, and equity and environmental justice, to ensure our efforts have a positive impact on all people.”

Colorado Proposes New Transportation Pollution Standards

The Colorado Transportation Commission proposed new transportation pollution reduction planning standards on August 16 that seek to cut greenhouse gas or GHG emissions from the state’s transportation sector while improving statewide air quality and reducing smog.

[Above photo by the Colorado DOT]

The proposed rule – known as the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Planning Standard” – aims to “shape” how state and local governments plan projects to ensure future transportation infrastructure supports cleaner air and fights climate change, all while providing more “travel options” to Colorado residents.

Publication of this draft standard begins a 60-day public review period – running from August 13 through October 15 – during which the Colorado Department of Transportation plans to host both in-person and virtual public hearings as well as accept written comments.

The proposed rule would require the Colorado DOT and the state’s five Metropolitan Planning Organizations to determine total pollution and GHG emissions increase or decrease expected from future transportation projects while taking steps to ensure that total GHG emission levels do not exceed set reduction amounts.

This commission added that this approach would also help “streamline” the planning and delivery of innovations for improving quality of life and air quality, such as: Adding sidewalks, improving downtowns for active transportation with “complete streets,” improving local and intercity transit, and first-and-last-mile connectivity to transit facilities, and adding bike-sharing facilities.

“Transportation is our largest source of air pollutants, and this standard will help ensure that Coloradans have every possible ability to make a difference,” said Governor Jared Polis (D) in a statement.

The proposed rule would also implement a key provision of the state’s SB21-260 transportation legislation, which requires a number of steps to embed air quality and equity analysis and goals into transportation planning.  

“What we build matters. It matters for safety, for our economy, for resiliency, and for our ability to reduce air pollution and improve the quality of places where Coloradans across the state live and thrive,” explained Shoshana Lew, Colorado DOT’s executive director.

“From smoke-filled air to a confluence of fire and 500-year flooding in Glenwood Canyon, we are reminded that we have no time to waste in fighting climate change in the transportation sector – and this policy will be an important step,” she added. “This draft standard wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of hours of input we’ve received over the last few months, and I look forward to hearing from all stakeholders on this draft.”

Mug shots of Sens. Schumer and Sherrod

Senators Unveil $73B ‘Clean Transit for America’ Plan

Two key Senate Democrats introduced a $73 billion plan on May 4 to transition the nation’s transit buses and vans to Zero Emission Vehicle or ZEV platforms.

The “Clean Transit for America” plan – introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the senate’s majority leader, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs – would replace America’s 70,000 mass transit buses and 85,000 cutaway/transit vans to “clean energy vehicles.” The plan would also prioritize funding for areas with the worst air quality first.

Currently in the United States, only 2 percent of buses are ZEVs, argued Sen. Schumer in a statement. He added that the volume of air pollutants from diesel buses disproportionally affects low-income communities and communities of color. 

“To reduce the carbon in our atmosphere and address the climate crisis, we must transform our transit system,” he said. “The Clean Transit for America proposal will replace dirty, diesel-spewing buses, create new American jobs, help save the planet and protect public health, particularly in our country’s most vulnerable communities.”

“Americans deserve world-class public transportation that is delivered with modern, zero-emission buses built by American workers,” added Sen. Brown. “The Clean Transit for America Plan will create a significant number of good-paying, union jobs building zero-emission buses in the U.S. It is the kind of transformative investment we need in public transit that will put Americans to work [and] connects people with opportunity.”

In a related effort, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., recently outlined a “vision” for how the Environmental Protection Agency could adopt standards to reduce greenhouse gas or GHG emissions in the automotive industry and eliminate tailpipe pollution from new cars by 2035.

“The future of the automobile manufacturing sector is at a crossroads,” Sen. Carper – chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works – explained in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

“The Clean Air Act provides sufficient authority for the EPA to rise to this challenge,” he said in a statement released with the letter. “EPA can establish requirements on new cars that would significantly reduce air pollution harming communities, put the nation on track to maintain its leadership in vehicle technology, and make significant progress in fighting climate change.”

Sen. Carper added that “if the U.S. does not establish a robust policy that leads to ZEV deployment” he warned the nation “will be at risk of losing our automotive jobs and industry leadership to other nations, as well as enduring unnecessary public health impacts from pollution.”

Louisiana DOTD Studying How to Tackle GHG Emissions

The Louisiana state government, which collects about $1.3 billion a year in taxes from the oil and gas industry, is studying whether alternative fuels and other environmental measures can help reduce greenhouse gas or GHG emissions.

[Photo by the Louisiana DOTD.]

Gov. John Bel Edwards has created a 23-member Climate Initiatives Task Force charged with creating a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 – with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development poised to do the heavy lifting on transportation strategies within that plan to move towards the state’s GHG reduction goals.

“I think it’s a worthy effort to at least start a discussion about what needs to happen in Louisiana,” explained Louisiana DOTD Deputy Secretary Eric Kalivoda, co-chair of the task force’s transportation committee.

Devastating hurricanes, coastal subsidence, and rising sea levels – blamed on global warming – are eating away at Louisiana’s coastline. According to the governor’s office, if no significant action is taken, Louisiana could lose another 4,000 square miles of coast by 2050.

Kalivoda sees the transportation committee addressing four issues: demand management, conservation, alternative fuels, and “natural sequestration through reforestation.” The alternative fuel issue is the one that gets the most attention, and it usually focuses almost exclusively on electric vehicles, he said.

“A lot of people are going down the path of all-battery-powered electric, but I think a variety of fuel sources is the way to go,” including natural gas, hydrogen, biofuels, and traditional gasoline, he noted. “Gas and diesel engines are going to be part of the mix, certainly for the foreseeable future.”

Ann Vail, executive director of Louisiana Clean Fuels and a member of the task force, agreed.

“Oil and gas aren’t going to go away,” Vail said. “We’re looking at more of a buffet of fueling options. We have to look at biofuels, electric, and we already have a half-decent natural gas vehicle infrastructure here.”

Louisiana DOTD’s Kalivoda added that many of the 88,000 registered government vehicles in Louisiana could be converted to run on a variety of alternative fuels “as a demonstration project to the private sector. We can enter into contracts for fuel at facilities also open to the public and show the maintenance records and the problems we run into.”

Demand management simply means promoting telecommuting, compressed workweeks, remote learning, and virtual business meetings and conferences, actions that a majority of people now are familiar with, thanks to the pandemic. “The genie is out of the bottle, and I don’t think it’s going back in,” he noted.

Kalivoda said Louisiana DOTD can work on faster traffic incident management and better traffic signal coordination to lessen congestion-related emissions, but more carpooling could make an immediate impact if people would do it. “There will be a list of excuses from Miami to Anchorage as to why we can’t do that, but we can.”

He pointed out that, if people really don’t want to carpool, “maybe we can get them to plant a tree. You can absorb a lot of carbon dioxide through natural sequestration. Public properties can be re-forested. Government agencies and schools can add trees to parking lots. This could be mitigation for transportation.”

Because Louisiana has so many chemical plants and refineries, transportation emissions make up only 26 percent of GHG emissions – much less than other states, Kalivoda said. Industry is responsible for 49 percent, power production makes up 23 percent, and homes and other businesses account for the rest. The panel is expected to produce interim recommendations by the end of April, and a final report and recommendations by February 2022.