It Gets Worse: Boxer/Inhofe to Request $50B More for Highways

Barbara Boxer and infamous global warming denier James Inhofe will present an amendment to the Senate stimulus plan that could funnel as much as $50 billion in additional funding to highways, Streetsblog has learned. Friends of the Earth tells us that Boxer’s staff confirmed she will introduce the amendment, which could bring the total for highways close to $80 billion, exactly the figure Inhofe demanded last week in a letter to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. 

The amendment is expected within the hour, according to Kate McMahon of Friends of the Earth. Inhofe press director Marc Morano didn’t deny the number, but said "a lot is going on today and I’ll confirm with you shortly."

Both Friends of the Earth and Environmental Defense are sending action alerts to their activists, the first suggesting calls to Boxer, the second urging constituents to contact their own Senators to demand a "No" vote on the amendment.

Stay tuned for more information.

EDF action alert here.

Friends of the Earth action alert:

The U.S. Senate is working on its economic stimulus package today. Already,
the bill includes $27 billion that can be used to build unnecessary new roads,
despite the fact that such spending will create fewer jobs than investments in
clean transportation projects. New roads will also lead to more global warming
pollution and oil consumption.

Last week we had a victory in the House
of Representatives when we increased funding for clean transportation by $3
billion. Unfortunately, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is threatening to undo that
progress.

Senator Boxer is planning to propose an amendment today that
would add another $50 billion in new road funding to the stimulus. Such an
amendment would undermine President Obama’s goal of a "green" stimulus and
represent a huge setback in the fight against global warming.

We need
your help to change Senator Boxer’s mind. Please call her office NOW at
202-224-3553 and ask her to NOT offer this amendment.

  • Nathan

    Does anyone else find it ironic that Senator Boxer is the same legislator that fought so hard for CA to be able to improve CAFE standards?

  • Let’s look at the numbers:

    $29.6 billion: gas tax revenue for 2008

    $27 billion: new roads in current stimulus bill

    $50 billion: Boxer/Inhofe addition to above

    $87 billion: total for new roads if they get their way

    The last number is almost three times the first one. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just triple the gas tax?

  • Ah, I can’t add. The last figure is $77 billion. A bargain!

  • ddartley

    “The mailbox for . . . SENATOR GILLIBRAND’S OFFICE . . . is full. Goodbye.”

  • GRR

    This is classic “please don’t hurt me” liberalism at it’s absolute worst.
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2009/2/3/114256/5535?source=rss
    All because she doesn’t want to read some Inhofe quote in her press coverage tomorrow.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “This is classic ‘please don’t hurt me’ liberalism at it’s absolute worst.”

    There are reasons I’m not a Democrat. Among other things, they are the party of vested, privileged interests. And the Republicans are the party that’s in favor of partying to sell out the future.

    So when they cut a deal, you end up selling out the future to favor vested interests.

    Under capitalism you get what you earn, at least in theory, and under socialism you get what you need, at least in theory. But our politics has devolved into feudalism — those with privileges expand them in good time and keep them in bad times, whether they need them or not, deserve them or not.

    If this is what government is, I want my money back. In particular, I want my federal money back — or my children’s federal money back, since they will be in no position to decide to fund transit instead of autos, because they will only be funding debt service.

  • Larry Littlefield

    By the way Streetsbloggers, what’s the difference between a highway and a street?

    Bicycles can ride on streets, and pedestrians can cross them. Not so highways. Remember, virtually all of that federal money has gone to highways.

  • rex

    Babs, what are you thinking? California is choking itself to death with cars and sprawl, and you want to build more freeways.

  • All because she doesn’t want to read some Inhofe quote in her press coverage tomorrow.

    Wait a minute. This woman is chair of the Environment Committee?

    Only Nixon could go to China, and apparently only Barbara Boxer can sell out environmentally-friendly transportation. This is Subaru-wagon liberalism at its worst.

  • Highways are owned and maintained by the state, streets are locally owned, in general. Some local streets (if they have a route number) are also state owned. (Ashby Ave. in Berkeley is State Route 13).
    Boxer is usually better than this. One has come to expect this sort of policy from closet Republican Dianne Feinstein, but Boxer? What is she on?