Improving the emissions performance of our transportation system

Transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in the US, accounting for 27% of annual emissions in 2020. GCC works at the nexus of federal-state transportation policy to help inform government initiatives that leverage a broad range of strategies to reduce emissions, including light-duty and heavy-duty vehicle electrification, improved transit, and other lower-carbon, more accessible, and safer transportation options. GCC convenes multi-state and regional policymakers, supports federal and state regulatory policy development, and informs the equitable and effective implementation of state and federal legislation. GCC also supports state and federal efforts to ensure transportation investments benefit communities that have been disproportionately harmed by transportation pollution and underserved by the existing transportation system. 

Informing better transportation investment decisions 

Modeling and Analysis: To inform the national conversation around how best to spend the billions of dollars in federal and state transportation funding, we analyzed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law using our Transportation Investment Strategy Tool and assessed the potential effects of each of the bill’s surface transportation provisions.  We found IIJA could be an important part of the U.S. response to climate change. Or it could lead to more greenhouse gas pollution than the trajectory we are currently on. Where the actual outcome falls within that range will depend on the decisions made by state, federal, and local governments about how to spend the money made available by IIJA. 

Legal analysis on flexibility of funding: States have considerable flexibility in how to invest federal transportation funds, and we are providing legal analysis to help state and federal policymakers and stakeholders determine how funds can best be directed toward projects that reduce climate-warming pollution. 

Accelerating vehicle electrification 

Electric vehicles (EVs) have enormous potential to reduce harmful air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation. GCC has developed legal and policy analysis to inform state and federal investments in EV charging infrastructure, along with mapping and analysis tools to inform discussions between policymakers, local communities, and other stakeholders in considering priority locations for EV fast charging infrastructure investments, including the places most affected by pollution and underserved by existing transportation systems. 

Convening states to focus on the GHG performance of federal highways

GCC conducts analysis and convenes states and other stakeholders from across the nation to support the development of federal transportation programs and regulations, with a focus on the performance of the federal highway system. GCC works to inform federal policy with  the perspectives and lessons learned from states, including by publishing white papers and policy analyses and facilitating multi-state comment letters. 

Expanding community-level air quality monitoring

Community and environmental justice advocates have long called for more air quality monitoring in their neighborhoods, and a growing number of political leaders at the federal, state, and local levels of government are now taking responsive actions. To help state agencies respond to community needs, expand community-level air monitoring programs, and achieve the equity and environmental justice goals of their air quality, climate, and clean energy programs, GCC facilitates the Air Quality Monitoring Workgroup (AQMWG). This community of practice among state agency officials in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region shares information and best practices regarding community-based air quality monitoring and related policy actions.

Facilitating Northeast and Mid-Atlantic state collaboration

GCC serves as the facilitator and convenor of state transportation, energy, and environment agencies from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region working to develop low-carbon transportation policies. This work includes multi-state efforts to consider GHG emissions in transportation investment planning processes, coordinate regional electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure deployment, build state and local capacity for air quality monitoring, and develop regional low-carbon transportation policies.

Issue Brief: Estimating the Greenhouse Gas Impact of Federal Infrastructure Investments in the IIJA
December 21, 2021

The bipartisan federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents a historic investment in the underpinnings of our economy, especially when it comes to transportation. GCC is sharing this new analysis to help understand how these investments could help or hinder state and federal GHG reduction goals.


Memo: Opportunities for Climate-Related State Investments
December 20, 2021

This memorandum provides an overview of funding available to states in the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, and potentially available in the Build Back Better Act, for climate-related investments along with key considerations for states that wish to take full advantage of this historic opportunity.


Low-Carbon Transportation Policy Options for the Commonwealth of Virginia
May 25, 2021

To inform ongoing conversations among stakeholders and government officials in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Georgetown Climate Center commissioned analysis by Greenlink Analytics to model a variety of low-carbon transportation policy options. The modeling estimates potential benefits and costs from 2022 to 2040 that could result from these policies, including projected reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants and effects on jobs, GDP, and public health.


Towards Equitable and Transformative Investments in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
March 18, 2021

The electrification of cars, trucks, and buses is an important strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, and can lead to cleaner air and healthier communities. As federal policymakers develop infrastructure and climate legislation to create jobs and spur economic recovery, the Georgetown Climate Center and M.J. Bradley & Associates have released Towards Equitable and Transformative Investments in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure, to inform federal investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Investments in EV charging present opportunities to advance equity and environmental justice, spur job creation, build the clean energy economy, and address the climate and public health crises facing the United States.



Written Statement of Vicki Arroyo before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, July 2019
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. 


Written Statement of Vicki Arroyo before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, February 26, 2019
February 28, 2019

On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, GCC Executive Director Vicki Arroyo testified before the full House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure at a hearing entitled "Examining How Federal Infrastructure Policy Could Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change." Arroyo provided spoken and written testimony to the Committee, and fielded questions along with the other panelists. 


Reducing Transportation Emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: Fuel System Considerations
July 23, 2018

In support of states interested in learning more about market-based policy options, the Georgetown Climate Center developed Reducing Transportation Emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: Fuel System Considerations to explore technical aspects of a possible regional cap-and-invest policy, as an illustrative example of a market-based approach to a multi-state transportation policy. The paper focuses on two subjects: which fuels might be covered under a policy, and which entities in the transportation fuel supply chain might be responsible for reducing emissions. First published November 12, 2017. Updated July 2018 to include new data and analysis.


Electric Vehicle Procurement for Public Fleets
June 28, 2018

Public fleets are realizing significant benefits from the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), and many public fleets want to ‘lead by example’ by showing the public the benefits of transitioning to EVs.  The following page provides resources for public fleet electric vehicle procurement developed through the EV Smart Fleets initiative.

Regulatory Considerations for Utility Investment in EV Charging Infrastructure

Regulatory Considerations for Utility Investment in EV Charging Infrastructure
November 13, 2017

A report released from the Georgetown Climate Center and M.J. Bradley & Associates provides an overview of the accelerating electrification of the transportation sector and explores the role of state utility regulators in evaluating potential investments by electric utilities in EV charging infrastructure. The report identifies key considerations for regulators, including the amount of charging infrastructure needed to support EVs, ways that regulators can help ensure equitable access to charging infrastructure, and opportunities to maximize the benefits of utility investment in charging infrastructure.

Federal Income Tax Treatment of Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging as a Fringe Benefit

Federal Income Tax Treatment of Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging as a Fringe Benefit
June 30, 2016

The Georgetown Climate Center has released an issue brief that analyzes the federal income tax treatment of workplace electric vehicle charging as a fringe benefit. The issue brief examines the current statutory and regulatory framework governing the tax treatment of fringe benefits and describes actions that policymakers could take to provide clarity to employers who provide complimentary workplace charging to their workforces.


Issue Brief: States Are in the Driver’s Seat on Transportation Carbon Pollution
March 24, 2023

 &  By James Bradbury, Zack Subin, Ben Holland, and Ryan Levandowski How states spend federal funding could shift carbon pollution from transportation by as much as 5 percent, making it harder or easier to...


Issue Brief: Flexible Federal Funding Opportunities for State and Local Clean Transportation Investments
February 23, 2023

Executive Summary When it comes to deciding how to spend funds from federal transportation programs, state policymakers — including department of transportation (DOT) officials and state lawmakers — have a...


New Issue Brief from GCC: States have flexibility to invest federal highway funds in climate-smart transportation
February 21, 2023

The U.S. has seen a historic influx of federal funding for improving America's transportation systems, especially through the $1.2 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). In a new issue brief, “Flexible Federal...


One Year Later: GCC reflects on the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
November 15, 2022

This article was originally posted as a Twitter thread @Climate_Center. Today marks one year since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act...


Transportation Agencies from 10 States and D.C. Voice Support for Federal Proposal to Track Greenhouse Gas Emissions from National Highways
October 13, 2022

States Across the Country Say Proposed Performance Measure Can Help Reduce Pollution, Improve Resilience of National Highway System October 13, 2022 — In joint comments submitted to the U.S. Department of...


Driving Resilience: How the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can support widespread climate resilience
August 11, 2022

Resilience is integrated throughout sections of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (H.R. 3684, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) and includes programs that can help alleviate the...


Statement from the Georgetown Climate Center on FHWA's Proposed GHG Performance Measure
July 7, 2022

This morning, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, released a proposed rule to guide states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in measuring and...


8 Ways US States and Cities Can Create a National EV Charging Network
June 23, 2022

By: Devashree Saha (Word Resources Institute), Matthew Goetz (GCC), Dan Lashof (World Resources Institute), Franz Litz (Litz Strategies) Electric vehicles (EVs) are on the rise in the United States.   The Biden...


States Can Use Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Transportation Funds to Reduce Emissions and Lessen Vulnerability to Oil Price Shocks
June 1, 2022

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, world oil prices spiked, from $94 per barrel the day before the invasion (February 23) to a peak of $127 per barrel on March 8, and have remained well over $100 per barrel for...


Issue Brief: Estimating the Greenhouse Gas Impact of Federal Infrastructure Investments in the IIJA
December 16, 2021

Executive Summary By any measure, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA),[ref title=""]Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, H.R. 3684, 117th Congress (2021)...