Coauthored with Dave Grossman, principal at Green Light Consulting and senior consultant at David Gardiner and Associates
The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act will result in historic levels of federal funding for infrastructure projects. States will be at the forefront of spending these funds, and the decisions they make will shape the nature of the transportation system in the United States for decades to come. The stakes are high; transportation is currently the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Analyses show that this unprecedented new funding could significantly help—or hinder—the shift to a climate-friendly and equitable transportation system, depending on how the money is spent.
NRDC and David Gardiner and Associates (DGA) have evaluated all 50 states to gauge the general policy and spending context that will influence and direct this federal funding, with the aim of identifying the degree to which states have adopted policies and directed dollars toward improving equity, public health, and climate outcomes. The landscape into which these funds will be invested is decidedly mixed. While some states have already adopted policies and programs conducive to meeting equity and climate goals, other states must rapidly realign their priorities in order to achieve these outcomes. Even the states currently leading the pack, while they are to be commended for their actions thus far, have areas that are in need of improvement.
NRDC and DGA encourage all states to use this scorecard to help inform future policy and investment decisions.
According to the metrics used in this analysis, the 10 states currently doing the most to improve equity and climate outcomes from the transportation sector are:
6. New York
8. New Jersey
Conversely, 10 states currently doing the least to improve equity and climate outcomes from the transportation sector are:
46. South Carolina