Call Senator Boxer Right Now…

Barbara Boxer and infamous global warming denier James Inhofe will
present an amendment to the Senate stimulus plan that could funnel as
much as $50 billion in additional funding to highways, Streetsblog has
learned. Friends of the Earth tells
us that Boxer’s staff confirmed she will introduce the amendment, which
could bring the total for highways close to $80 billion, exactly the
figure Inhofe demanded last week in a letter to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. 

The
amendment is expected within the hour, according to Kate McMahon of
Friends of the Earth. Inhofe press director Marc Morano didn’t deny the
number, but said "a lot is going on today and I’ll confirm with you
shortly."

Both Friends of the Earth and Environmental
Defense are sending action alerts to their activists, the first
suggesting calls to Boxer, the second urging constituents to contact
their own Senators to demand a "No" vote on the amendment.

Stay tuned for more information.

EDF action alert here.

Friends of the Earth action alert:

The U.S. Senate is working on its economic stimulus package today. Already,
the bill includes $27 billion that can be used to build unnecessary new roads,
despite the fact that such spending will create fewer jobs than investments in
clean transportation projects. New roads will also lead to more global warming
pollution and oil consumption.

Last week we had a victory in the House
of Representatives when we increased funding for clean transportation by $3
billion. Unfortunately, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is threatening to undo that
progress.

Senator Boxer is planning to propose an amendment today that
would add another $50 billion in new road funding to the stimulus. Such an
amendment would undermine President Obama’s goal of a "green" stimulus and
represent a huge setback in the fight against global warming.

We need
your help to change Senator Boxer’s mind. Please call her office NOW at
202-224-3553 and ask her to NOT offer this amendment.

  • Wouldn’t it be much easier politically to simply request that the money come with some type of provision that allows local jurisdictions to determine whether to spend the money on highways or mass transit?

    Isn’t that a better way of allowing the rural politicians to get what they want, and the urban politicians to get what they want?

    Manipulate the unfortunate political landscape to our benefit. Recognize why an environmentalist like Boxer would introduce this and the type of coalition she may be able to build.

  • Damien, I agree with your point; giving local communities the choice would be the best option. . . but I’m getting the feeling this is an either-or situation. Inhofe and his republican allies clearly want more highways.

    I honestly don’t know why Boxer is convinced that the extra highway money is a good idea, but I’m suspecting that she’s trying to show that some of the Republican/Democrat cooperation Obama has been hoping for is actually happening. That’s the only thing I can imagine is causing her to do this. . . making what she sees is a small sacrifice for the sake of nationwide political goodwill. Still, I’m very disappointed she’s been convinced by the global warming denier on this.

  • David:

    It probably has a bit to do with California’s budget crisis and how it’s impacting highway construction projects.

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