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Tags: pete buttigieg | equity | transportation | climate

Buttigieg Appoints Transportation Equity Advisers

By    |   Friday, 01 September 2023 01:19 PM EDT

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has revived an Obama-era panel of "leading experts" to advise him on "transportation equity," including some who claim that cars perpetuate "systemic racism" and should be banned because of their negative impact on the environment.

Buttigieg recently appointed 24 new members to the Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity, which had been scrapped by the Trump administration, including "spatial policy scholar" Andrea Marpillero-Colomina, who has argued "ALL CARS ARE BAD," because they cause "a myriad of environmental issues and conditions."

Another Buttigieg appointee, Veronica Davis, claimed, in an August essay, that cars are "the problem" in American's transportation system because they uphold "systemic racism."

Shortly after taking office in 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that required federal agencies to "pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all." Agency heads must conduct an "equity assessment" under the order to identify policies that create "systemic barriers" for minority communities.

According to a Transportation Department press release, the committee is slated to meet for the first time this fall and will advise Buttigieg on "promising practices to institutionalize equity into agency programs, policies, regulations, and activities."

While she is not "advocating for the complete erasure" of cars, Marpillero-Colomina told The Washington Free Beacon that she plans to advocate for a policy that moves America away from its reliance on privately-owned motor vehicles.

"My interest in being on the [equity committee] is to raise the question and push the Department of Transportation to really think about: What are some equitable, environmentally sustainable, economically beneficial, and feasible alternatives to policy that is car-centric?" she asked. "How can we reimagine streets to prioritize people instead of cars? How can we create streets that are inclusive of modes other than cars?"

In July, Davis released a book on "inclusive transportation" that calls for "a different way of thinking" to "address healing the damage done by cars."

"Not to oversimplify the problems of transportation, but all roads lead back to cars," Davis wrote in an essay last month derived from her book. "This isn't anti-car propaganda but vehicles have wreaked havoc on the environment and communities. … Racism shaped the urban and suburban areas, where even today we see the residual effects."

Buttigieg also appointed Oliver Sellers-Garcia to the committee, who manages Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's Green New Deal program. The city's Green New Deal calls for Boston to transition from cars to a "multimodal" transportation plan.

"We need to make it not only possible but also preferable for residents to leave traffic- and pollution-inducing fossil fuel-powered vehicles behind," the Boston plan states.

This isn't the first time Buttigieg has looked to reduce America's dependence on car travel. In January, his office released a climate plan that called for a reduction in "commuting miles" through an "increase in remote work and virtual engagements."

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted major opportunities for telework, with some studies showing the possibility of 10 percent long-term reduction in annual vehicle miles traveled," the plan says.

In recent months, the Biden administration's Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Safety Administration unveiled new regulations that would require automakers to sell primarily electric vehicles by 2032.

Despite Biden's aggressive push for electric vehicles, equity committee member Marpillero-Colomina, told the Free Beacon that electric vehicles "are not the silver bullet" they're being marketed as.

"If we just replace all the gas-powered cars with EVs, we're going to have many of the same problems that we have with gas-powered cars," she said.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has revived an Obama-era panel of "leading experts" to advise him on "transportation equity," including some who claim that cars perpetuate "systemic racism" and should be banned because of their negative impact on the environment.
pete buttigieg, equity, transportation, climate
582
2023-19-01
Friday, 01 September 2023 01:19 PM
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