Secretary of Transportation speaks on climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions

There's concerns about economic impact

HOUSTON – Thursday, April 22, is Earth day and several local and national leaders are making sure we have a clean and positive environment.

“Earth Day is one day, but this really is the project of a generation,” Pete Buttigieg said.

Pete Buttigieg is the Secretary of Transportation. He said plans are in the works to cut emissions from vehicles to help tackle climate change.

He said one of the best ways to do it, is to use other ways to get around.

“Having a good transit, good subway options, even good bike lanes in areas where bike commuting could be part of the solution,” he said.

There are no subways in Houston, but the city does have bike lanes and connected trails through city and county parks, bayous, and trails that lead to major employment centers.

About 1,800 miles of additional bike lanes are in the works over the next five to six years.

Secretary Buttigieg said President Biden is working on a plan that will create new jobs around infrastructure projects to improve traditional modes of transit that most Houstonians rely on.

“Recognizing that on everything like constructing roads and bridges that’s in the plan, improving our ports and airports,” he said.

Republican Representative Kevin Brady represents the northern suburbs of Houston. He is not convinced the plan will work. He is worried more people will lose their jobs.

“This is a bill where America is to lose more than 1.2 million jobs. In this end to fighting, there is a better way to find infrastructure, it should be on the backs of American workers,” Rep. Brady said.

Here in Texas, the oil and gas industry drives the economy and jobs. Secretary Buttigieg said while the goal is to become more green, traditional energy companies will still be in the mix.

“We’re going to continue to need through this transition all forms of energy, even as things are changing to prepare for the future,” he said.

“My solution is to make sure that not only is America in Texas the clean energy capital of the world but let’s export those new technologies all around the world,” Rep. Brady said.