The wheels on the (electric) bus go round and round

Children and politicians sitting on a school bus

Photo by: Stacy Whittle

For all the squabbling among politicians in Washington, D.C., there is one thing that they all seem to (at least occasionally) agree on: the health of America’s children. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, kids will soon be able to breathe a little better.

Hundreds of school districts will be switching from polluting diesel-powered buses to zero-emissions electric buses.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan visited Vienna, Virginia on Monday, March 14th to deliver the good news. Regan answered questions surrounding the $5 billion investment in clean transportation after dozens of children got to ride an electric bus for the first time. Marveled  one young student, “This smells so clean!”

For a change, things are changing — for the better.

One parent remarked that she was elated that her district could focus on spending money on learning instead of gas.

The EPA administrator was ecstatic at the timing. “The fact that we could have healthier air and not depend on international price volatility and have affordable clean electric school buses is good for the school system and how we wisely use taxpayer dollars. It’s good for the children cause they’re breathing cleaner air. And it’s good for the parents because they feel good sending their kids to school knowing that one child could have one less asthma attack because they’re not exposed to diesel pollution. This is a win-win-win!”

Carolina Peña, from EcoMadres, who supported the event, said, “The climate crisis affects all of us. And it’s up to all of us to solve it. Right now, less than 1% of the 480,000 school buses in our nation’s school bus fleet are electric. Fortunately, change is happening, and this event today is a demonstration of leadership to tackle the crisis.”

Even in Appalachia, where coal is king, both Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Shelley Capito announced the award of a grant just like this one in a West Virginia school system.

While on the bus, the engine was on and none of the passengers even knew it was running. Said the driver, “The only downside is when it stops it’s so quiet everybody can hear what you’re saying.”

We owe it to future generations to leave the planet in better shape than we found it. Hopefully, our kids can breathe easier that this is just the start.

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