Dear President Biden and Members of Congress:
As representatives of school districts across the country, we write to encourage your administration to take action on school bus electrification consistent with your commitment to reach all new zero-emission American-made buses by 2030. Deploying zero-emission school buses would help meet our climate goals while reducing harmful air pollution, protecting children’s health, and even boosting academic performance.
The anticipated recovery, or Build Back Better, package presents a critical opportunity to advance school bus electrification and to build back better and greener after the devastation of COVID-19. A federal investment of $30 billion over 10 years would jumpstart the electric transition of the nation’s school bus fleet. This level of federal funding would cover the price differential, training, and infrastructure costs for half of the nation’s school bus fleet.
Nearly 95 percent of America’s school buses run on diesel, a fossil fuel that has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including asthma, bronchitis, and cancer. Each year, pollution from cars, trucks, and other vehicles cuts short an estimated 58,000 lives, and increases the risk of lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. This pollution also makes people more vulnerable to diseases like COVID-19. Transitioning to all-electric school bus fleets would prevent the release of 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, and protect our kids’ lungs by keeping diesel fumes out of the air inside and outside of the buses.
As of today, legislation pending in Congress would provide a huge boost to electric school buses. Electric school buses are essential, we need to ensure that the $30 billion for electric school buses remains in the Clean Future Act. We need safe transportation as soon as possible. Our climate, our health, and our kids are depending on it.