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. 

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

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

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.


Boxer’s Stimulus Saga Rolls On

Boxer no stranger to new freeways Environmental groups in DC are guardedly optimistic that yesterday’s barrage of phone calls and emails to Senator Boxer and company urging them not to write a $50 billion blank check for the highway lobby has not been in vain.  Boxer did not introduce the feared highway amendment yesterday and […]

Boxer/Inhofe Ammendment: Better, But Not Good Enough

A draft of the Boxer/Inhofe amendment just came over the transom from a source in DC close to the negotiations (PDF).  This is a draft from yesterday and negotiations are ongoing, so expect changes.  Specifically, enviros are trying to get a "green screen" put in place, so that USDOT can pick from the priority projects […]

Will Barbara Boxer Stand Up for Sustainable Transportation?

Behind the scenes, we’re hearing a lot of sustainable transportation advocates sounding alarms over California Senator Barbara Boxer these days. As chair of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee, Boxer is going to play a critical role in this year’s federal transportation funding effort. Environmentalists want to see transportation policies and funding formulas that […]

Transpo Bill Update: Congress Tees Up Two More Months of the Same

Can anything spur Congress to overhaul a federal transportation policy that lets states run amok building highway expansions while the rest of our infrastructure goes to seed? Don’t hold your breath — the cycle of extending the status quo transportation bill is starting all over again. Last Monday, the Obama Administration began warning state departments of transportation that […]

Wiki Wednesday: The Story of the Stimulus

Looks like the conference committee made quick work of the stimulus bill, with Harry Reid announcing that a deal has been reached much sooner than expected (perhaps a bit too prematurely). We’ll have the specifics on transportation funding later tonight or early tomorrow. For now, relive the stimulus saga with StreetsWiki. Contributor DianaD has added […]