The federal government is responsible for only a quarter of total transport spending, but the way it allocates funding shapes the way things are done at the state and local levels. Unfortunately, it tends not to reward the prudent, thanks to formulas that govern over 70% of federal investment. Petrol-tax revenues, for instance, are returned to the states according to the miles of highway they contain, the distances their residents drive, and the fuel they burn. The system is awash with perverse incentives. A state using road-pricing to limit travel and congestion would be punished for its efforts with reduced funding, whereas one that built highways it could not afford to maintain would receive a larger allocation.
The American Wind Energy Association has just released a plan to phase out the Production Tax Credit, an important federal incentive that has led to the doubling of wind generated electricity. This proposal would provide wind companies with six years of certainty before eliminating it. This makes the wind industry the only energy resource that has volunteered to help reduce the deficit and our country’s huge debt.  Now, it’s time for Big Oil and the rest of fossil fuel industries to propose a plan to phase out their permanent special tax breaks, some of which have been in place for nearly a century.
oil subsidies
We also need, desperately, to limit global warming, because even the most skillful adaptation measures cannot cope with 7˚F of global temperature rise. That means the federal government must stop ignoring the mounting climate crisis and take swift aggressive action to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
climate change human adaptability
Why should walking and bicycling be a life-threatening choice? It is not acceptable to spend billions of dollars to pursue outdated policies that would make health problems worse and add to the federal deficit by increasing health care costs. We need a 21st-century transportation vision that gives people transportation options, encourages walking and bicycling, and makes it safer for kids to walk to school.
health transportation
America's dependence on its cars is reinforced by a shortage of alternative forms of transport. Europe's large economies and Japan routinely spend more than America on rail investments, in absolute not just relative terms, despite much smaller populations and land areas. America spends more building airports than Europe but its underdeveloped rail network shunts more short-haul traffic onto planes, leaving many of its airports perpetually overburdened. Plans to upgrade air-traffic-control technology to a modern satellite-guided system have faced repeated delays. The current plan is now threatened by proposed cuts to the budget of the Federal Aviation Administration.
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