Hayes' Clean School Bus Legislation Recommended To Address Climate Change By Select Committee On The Climate Crisis

June 30, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive Congressional climate action framework, highlighting Congresswoman Hayes’ bill, which seeks to invest in green school buses. This action would serve as an important tool in the effort to solve the climate crisis. The Select Committee’s plan would put our country on a path to net-zero carbon pollution by 2050, if not earlier.

The Clean School Bus Act, introduced by Congresswoman Hayes and cosponsored by 49 Members of Congress, is recommended by the Select Committee specifically to build a cleaner and more resilient transportation sector through reducing pollution from heavy duty trucks and buses.

“Climate change has been threatening the lives of our children and the  health of our environment for decades,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “COVID-19, which directly threatens our respiratory health, has made it crystal clear that we need to address air pollution caused by our school bus fleet immediately.”

“Our children, teachers, school bus drivers, and communities breathe in the fumes from diesel school buses, compromising our lung health even absent a pandemic. These fumes also deteriorate  our communities’ ecosystems and accelerate climate change. It is absolutely essential that we invest in updating our national school bus fleet to protect our students and ecosystem.”

“I am pleased the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis recommended the Clean School Bus Act to address the impacts of climate change. My bill’s bold investment in green school buses would protect our kids, air quality, and community health.”

Specifically, the Clean School Bus Act would provide $1 billion to help school districts across the country replace traditional school buses with electric ones. By reducing students’ exposure to diesel exhaust, the bill would significantly cut down on asthma-related health incidents, increase attendance, and provide long-term savings to school districts.

Every day, more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers breathe polluted air during their commute to school, which has a negative impact on student health and attendance, particularly for students with asthma and other respiratory conditions. The Clean School Bus Act would provide grants of up to $2 million for school districts to replace diesel buses with electric ones, to invest in charging infrastructure, and to support workforce development.

The Clean School Bus Act is supported by the American Federation of Teachers, American Lung Association, League of Conservation Voters, National Education Association, Chispa – Clean Buses for Healthy Niños (Connecticut), Connecticut Fund for the Environment / Save the Sound, Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Green For All, Hispanic Access Foundation, Waterbury Youth Services, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the California Association of School Transportation Officials (CASTO).

The full Select Committee report is viewable here.

The text of H.R. 3973, the Clean School Bus Act, can be viewed here.

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Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public-school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.