Minister of transportsaid Thursday that the US has “once a century an opportunity” to press ahead with infrastructure reforms, adding that the country is on the verge of an “infrastructure season” that could potentially become an “infrastructure decade”. Buttigieg spoke on Thursday at Festival.
“In the last administration, the infrastructure week became the punch line,” said Buttigieg during a keynote session. “We kept hoping that something big could happen in the infrastructure, and it never did.”
The new transport minister said his vision of 21st century infrastructure included the “nondescript” task of repairing roads and bridges across the country while ensuring that transport plays a vital role in supporting the struggle.
“Transportation can be part of the solution,” said Buttigieg. “In fact, it has to be because transport is the biggest part of the problem. We are the biggest sector when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, which means that improving transport is the biggest thing we can do about ours Bring economy in order track. “
According to the(EPA), greenhouse gas emissions from transport account for nearly 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The EPA says that between 1990 and 2018, greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector increased more in absolute terms than any other sector.
Buttigieg said breakthroughs in technology and politics are necessary for the transportation industry to have an impact on combating climate change. The “electrification of cars” is an important milestone in this direction, but acknowledged that electric vehicles alone would not solve the problem.
“If your car is electric and your electricity comes from coal, then it’s not a clean car,” Buttigieg said, adding that he wanted a “heated debate” between Republicans and Democrats about how the US will be net-zero by 2050 Emissions.
“We want to argue about whose plan is best and not whether we should do it at all because we honestly have no time for this argument. We literally cannot afford to be stuck,” said Buttigieg.
Buttigieg has also stressed the need to improve the country’s rail system in his first few weeks in office. Last month he visited Union Station in Washington DC to meet with Amtrak workers and transit managers.
On Thursday he pointed out the importance of thefor the transportation industry, saying the resources provided will allow the country’s transit systems to continue operating.
TheAmtrak, which had lost 90% of its driver numbers in the past year and was forced to reveal plans to cut a fifth of its workforce, was badly affected. Buttigieg said the additional resources were “critical” to Amtrak’s ability to operate on all routes.
The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said passenger traffic in America should not be inferior to that of other countries, adding that investing to improve railroads “must be a national choice.”
Two years ago, Buttigieg was a relatively unknown voice on the national stage when he appeared in front of a small crowd in South by Southwest shortly after the start of his historic presidential campaign.
Now, as the first Senate-approved gay cabinet secretary, Buttigieg said he is still “processing” the experience of being catapulted across the country in recent years. He added that his role in the cabinet is a reminder of how far the LGBTQ community has come in achieving equality.
“There were people who, regardless of whether they were soldiers or cabinet officers, couldn’t be an accountant or astronomer in the federal government because they were only seen as a threat because they were different,” said Buttigieg.