AUSTIN, Texas — Travis and Bexar counties are coming together to transition all their county fleet vehicles to electric ones. The counties are partnering with the South Central Texas Electric Transportation Compact (ETC).
The Travis County and Bexar County commissioners courts approved two resolutions, one for each county, on Tuesday. The partnership will save the counties money and improve air quality, according to a press release.
ETC works to reduce tailpipe emissions, which are the leading cause of air pollution in Central Texas, through transportation electrification.
“Transportation pollution is a major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air quality degradation, leading to significant impacts on the Earth’s climate health, health costs, the economy and environmental justice concerns,” ETC co-chairs from Travis and Bexar counties commissioners Brigid Shea and Justin Rodriguez said in a joint statement.
Shea and Rodriguez cited Texas’s 2021 winter storm as an example of the climate and weather being affected by tailpipe emissions.
“Climate change is causing an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events and was a factor in winter storm ‘Uri,’ which had devastating impacts on millions of Texans and caused billions of dollars in damage,” Shea and Rodriguez said.
They also emphasized the positive impact of electric vehicle fleets on transportation emissions on Interstate 35.
“We can play a key role in reducing regional transportation emissions by developing model plans and programs, leveraging partnerships and providing regional leadership for others to follow,” Shea said. “In addition, passage of these resolutions will also help our counties leverage funding opportunities that may be available as a result of a federal infrastructure bill.”
“We want to avoid Federal Air Quality non-attainment status to protect our families and our community from unnecessary health risks and economic loss,” Rodriguez said. “The cost of inaction is too great, and we must continue to advance measures that offer a path for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in both the near and long term.”
Both counties' goal is to reach zero transportation emissions.
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