More Kids Will Travel In “Clean” School Buses, Which Are Primarily Electric.

More Kids Will Travel In Clean School Buses, Which Are Primarily Electric

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a meeting on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, in Seattle’s Lumen Field to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments in electric school buses. Over 400 school districts from Washington, D.C., and all 50 states, together with numerous tribes and U.S. territories, will receive approximately $1 billion under a new federal program to purchase about 2,500 “clean” school buses.

The Biden Administration

Kamala Harris, the first female African American and Asian American vice president, took the oath of office with Biden.

Biden chose Ron Klain, his vice-presidential chief of staff, as his White House chief of staff on November 11, 2020. Jen Psaki, the U.S. Department of State’s spokesperson and deputy press secretary under President Barack Obama, was chosen by Biden to serve as his press secretary. Psaki announced and has conducted daily press conferences for White House reporters. Contrary to his most recent predecessors (going back to Herbert Hoover in 1929), who all had their first solo press conferences within 33 days of taking office, Biden held his first solo press conference on March 25, 2021, 64 days after taking office.

The Biden administration is providing the funds as part of a more significant effort to speed up the transition to zero-emission vehicles and reduce air pollution around towns and schools.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Michael Regan announced the grants on Wednesday in Seattle. They claimed that the new school buses, primarily electric, would lower greenhouse gas emissions, save money, and better protect children’s health.

Up to 25 million kids take yellow buses to and from school each day, and Harris claimed that with a cleaner fleet, they would have a healthier future.

“We are seeing the effects of harsh climate all over our nation and the world,” she remarked. “What we’re announcing today is a step forward in our country’s resolve to cut greenhouse gas emissions, invest in our economy, and improve the workforce’s skills in America.

Merely 1% of the 480,000 school buses in the nation as of last year were electric, but there has recently been a surge in support for getting rid of traditional diesel buses. The new purchases are funded by the federal Clean School Bus Program, which received $5 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed last year.

Assuring a better, healthier future for our children, the clean bus program is “hurdling our nation’s transition to electric and low-emission school buses,” according to Regan.

Due to what authorities described as overwhelmingly high demand for electric buses, the EPA upped its initial $500 million funding for clean buses to $965 million last month. In the fiscal year that began on October 1, an additional $1 billion is planned to be distributed.

According to the EPA, more than 2,000 applications requested more than 12,000 buses, most of which were electric. The EPA reports that 389 applications for funding totaling $913 million were approved to buy 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. The other buses will run on compressed natural gas or propane.

99% of the projects chosen served low-income, rural, or tribal students in school districts designated as priority areas, according to the White House. The EPA is currently reviewing further applications and intends to choose more winners in the upcoming weeks to award the whole $965 million.

From Wrangell, Alaska, to Anniston, Alabama, and Teton County, Wyoming, to Wirt County, West Virginia, districts are expected to get funding. Along with the District of Columbia, major cities, including New York, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, received subsidies for clean school buses.

According to White House adviser Mitch Landrieu, many buses should arrive by the start of the upcoming school year, with the remaining ones likely to be in use by the end of 2023. A domestic manufacturing boom for electric school buses should be “supercharged” by the $1 billion being spent this year and the additional $4 billion anticipated over the following four years, according to Landrieu, a former mayor of New Orleans. Biden chose him to oversee spending in the expansive infrastructure law.

In an interview, Landrieu stated, “These buses will be produced in America – real jobs with real salaries.” In this nation, manufacturing will be increased.

The Announcement

After decades of advocacy to replace diesel-powered buses with cleaner alternatives, the announcement was praised by environmental and public health groups.

Molly Rauch, public health policy director for Moms Clean Air Force, an environmental organization, stated, “Sending our children to school on buses that emit brain-harming, lung-harming, cancer-causing, and climate-harming pollution doesn’t make sense.” Our towns, bus drivers, and children deserve better.