Transportation & Land Use – Intro

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our country.  Cars and trucks are also a major source of air pollution that degrades our health and adds to our health care costs.  

The electrification of our transportation sector, powered by renewable energy sources like solar and offshore wind is critical to reducing GHG emissions and addressing climate change.  Electric vehicles are also cheaper to operate according to the US Department of Energy. 

The switch to EV (electric vehicles)-cars, trucks and buses is already happening.   Last December (2021), Virginia adopted the Advanced Clean Cars Program standards that tighten fuel efficiency standards for automobiles and light duty trucks including requirements for more all electric vehicles with each passing year.  

Local land use decisions drive transportation needs. Land use decisions that encourage new development into the outer suburbs require costly infrastructure projects (new roads, schools, etc) and services (police and fire) that add to the local tax burden while increasing greenhouse gas emissions.  

Smarter land use practices can reduce per capita carbon pollution emissions.  The most obvious reductions are in vehicle miles traveled by reducing daily commutes.  The conversion of farm and forest land into suburban development destroys these potential and natural carbon sinks.