In September of 2022, the leaders of the departments of Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enable the four federal agencies to accelerate the nation’s affordable and equitable clean transportation future. That MOU called for the agencies to release a comprehensive strategy for decarbonizing the transportation sector that will help guide future policy decisions, as well as research, development, demonstration, and deployment in the public and private sectors.
In January, the agencies released the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization, the landmark interagency framework of strategies and actions to remove all emissions from the transportation sector by 2050. Jointly announced by U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan, the Blueprint offers a whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis and meeting President Biden’s goals of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The transportation sector—which includes all modes of travel through land, air, and sea to move people and goods—accounts for a third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions, negatively affecting the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans, particularly those in disadvantaged communities. Transportation costs are the second largest annual household expense in our country and for the poorest Americans, the financial burden of transportation is disproportionately and unsustainably high.
A well-planned transition to a decarbonized transportation system can address these and other inequities and provide equitable, affordable, and accessible options for moving people and goods. Further developing and deploying clean-energy technologies such as electric vehicles and hydrogen and sustainable fuels, while also building out the supporting infrastructure for clean transportation will create good-paying jobs across all segments of the transportation sector and strengthening America’s energy independence.
The Blueprint is a critical step in the ongoing partnership between DOE, DOT, EPA, HUD, and stakeholders and is a significant milestone on the path to realizing an improved and sustainable transportation future.