GCC's Vicki Arroyo testifies before U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

July 10, 2019

On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, GCC Executive Director Vicki Arroyo testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the role of transportation in contributing to climate change and the importance of increased investment in low-carbon, more resilient transportation systems to withstand climate change impacts. 

At the hearing, entitled, “Investing in America’s Surface Transportation Infrastructure: The Need for a Multi-Year Reauthorization Bill,” Arroyo highlighted the work of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) — a regional collaboration of 12 states and the District of Columbia, facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center — as an example of bipartisan efforts to accelerate the deployment of cleaner, more resilient transportation systems. She provided suggestions for increasing deployment of electric vehicles through funding charging corridors and improving the user experience, as well as other opportunities to promote low-carbon transportation options through investment in smart growth and port electrification.

“There is an urgent need to transition to a low-carbon and more resilient transportation system that would bring additional benefits, including protecting public health by reducing air pollution, providing more mobility options, and driving innovation and economic growth through policy and through public and private investment,” Arroyo said in her testimony. “TCI states have been working together to design a regional policy that will accelerate the low-carbon transition. Congress has an opportunity to expand on such initiatives, fund innovative programs that expand access to transportation, and support new technologies that offer promise for emissions reduction and economic growth.”

Regarding resilience, Arroyo noted that states and communities need tools, technical assistance, and incentives to plan and modify codes and standards before disasters, as well as the flexibility to invest in more resilient infrastructure after disasters. She added, “Beyond infrastructure, federal funding should also support operational improvements, including strategies to help people evacuate safely.”

Arroyo currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, though her testimony was offered on her own behalf.

Read Vicki Arroyo’s full written testimony

View a recording of the hearing’s livestream on C-SPAN

Photos (Credit: U.S. Senate)
Top Right: Vicki Arroyo testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Above Center (L-R): K. Luke Reiner, Wyoming Dept. of Transportation; Carlos Bracera, American Assoc. of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Max Kuney, The Associated General Contractors of America; Carolann Wicks, University of Delaware; Vicki Arroyo, Georgetown Climate Center.