Clean Ride: Biden’s $900 Million Boost to Modernize School Buses Nationwide

President Joe Biden has just announced a massive funding boost that could help our nation’s children lead happier and healthier lives. 

Biden Administration’s $900 Million Investment in School Transportation

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The Biden Administration has just announced around $900 million in funding to help modernize school transportation. 

Replacing Outdated Diesel Buses 

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Under Biden’s Investing in America agenda, this funding will replace thousands of outdated diesel school buses with modern, environmentally friendly alternatives. 

Driving Towards a Green Energy Future

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As the administration gears up to tackle its green energy policy promises, this is an investment that will push clean school transportation, helping them to reach a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050. 

EPA Distributes Funding Across 500+ School Districts

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is spreading this wealth to over 500 school districts in almost every state, including Washington D.C., and various Tribes and other American territories. 

Over 3,400 Diesel Buses to Be Replaced

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This cash injection is set to replace more than 3,400 diesel buses with new clean models – 92% of which will be electric. 

Health Benefits

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This is important news for kids, as diesel school buses have been repeatedly linked to harmful health conditions like asthma and other health conditions – particularly in vulnerable communities.

Improving Air Quality in School Environments

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It’s a shift that promises cleaner air in and around schools and a considerable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – meaning a healthier environment for students and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Role of Electric, Propane, and CNG Buses in Climate Action

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Electric buses produce zero tailpipe emissions, and even propane and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses are a huge step up from diesel. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will contribute significantly to combating the climate crisis, making this investment a crucial part of America’s sustainable future.

Close to $3 Billion Already Allocated for School Bus Upgrades

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The Clean School Bus Program, which is part of Biden’s broader Investing in America agenda, has already awarded close to $3 billion to replace about 8,500 school buses across over 1,000 schools. 

Saving Money and Boosting American EV Production

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In a press conference in Jackson, Mississippi, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan spoke about the benefits of this funding and explained how it would save money and boost American electric vehicle and parts production.

Michael S. Regan on President Biden’s Commitment to Children’s Health

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“President Biden believes every child deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life and breathe clean air, and his Investing in America agenda is designed to deliver just that,” Regan stated. “With today’s latest round of funding, we are transforming the nation’s school bus fleet to better protect our most precious cargo – our kids – saving school districts money, improving air quality, and bolstering American manufacturing all at the same time.”

Mass Support

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Regan was joined in the announcement by Derrick Johnson (NAACP President) and U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson. They explained the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting children’s health.

Ensuring Cleaner, Safer, and More Efficient School Transportation

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“This initiative ensures that children have a cleaner, safer, and more efficient means of school transportation and contributes to protecting our environment. By making meaningful progress and offering valuable opportunities for our students, we are paving the way toward stronger student success,” Thompson said.

Overwhelming Demand 

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The demand for clean school buses has been overwhelming. When the EPA opened the application period in September 2023 for $500 million in rebates, the response from school districts nationwide was immense. 

Doubling Funding 

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Recognizing the need, particularly in low-income and Tribal communities, the EPA doubled the available funding to nearly $1 billion. 

The Justice40 Initiative

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This move is part of a broader effort to prioritize disadvantaged communities – part of Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to direct 40% of federal funds earmarked for environmental projects to these in-need communities. Prioritized areas include low-income, rural, and Tribal communities, which make up around 45% of the selected projects and receive about 67% of the total funding.

Upcoming Opportunities

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The EPA is not stopping with the current round of funding. They are accepting applications for a 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program, which is offering $932 million in grant funding. A large portion of these funds are expected to support new zero-emission school buses. 

Future Rounds of Funding and Continued Support

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The EPA has also announced that more rounds of funding are on the horizon and that they are continuing to review applications. They’re encouraging school districts that were not selected in the current round or did not apply to take part in these future opportunities.

Collaboration Across Federal Agencies 

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The EPA is also collaborating with other federal agencies to provide extensive technical assistance in order for these programs to be implemented smoothly. 

Improving Air Quality for Our Nation’s Children

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When it comes to our nation’s kids, making the air clean and breathable in and around schools can only be a positive move.

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The post Clean Ride: Biden’s $900 Million Boost to Modernize School Buses Nationwide  first appeared on EcoHugo.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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