The Clean Commute for Kids Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives yesterday in a push to protect children’s health and lower fossil fuel emissions. Under the bill, country-wide school buses would transition to all-electric fleets by 2030.
Sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla of California, Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Rep. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut and Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California, the bill “would invest $25 billion over 10 years to help nearly half of the nation’s school districts upgrade to zero-emission electric bus fleets,” according to a press release.
“We’re grateful to Senator Padilla, Senator Warnock, Representative Hayes and Representative Cárdenas for championing electric school buses and putting childrens’ health first,” Ethan Evans, transportation associate at U.S. PIRG, said. “The Clean Commute for Kids Act will help tackle the existential threat of climate change, protect our childrens’ health and accelerate us toward a zero-emission future.”
With almost 95 percent of the school buses across the U.S. diesel-run, the fossil fuel is known to “cause numerous health problems, including asthma, bronchitis, and cancer” in children, a press release reported. The bill would also lower the greenhouse gas emissions each year by 5.3 million tons.
“The toxic diesel pollution spewing out of our nation’s school buses is threatening our kids’ health, accelerating the climate crisis and endangering our childrens’ future,” Morgan Folger, Destination: Zero Carbon campaign director at Environment America, said. “Achieving all-electric buses by 2030 means that by the time today’s toddlers grow up to become middle schoolers, kids will be using clean, green and quiet electric school buses to get to school. The Clean Commute for Kids Act will help build a greener, cleaner future for our kids.”