Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Prioritizes Climate Advocacy in Meeting with Nonprofit Leader
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently met with Jon Creyts, the CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit organization advocating for carbon-free buildings, electricity, and transportation. The meeting, which took place in November, sheds light on Buttigieg’s dedication to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable solutions.
Advocating for a Cleaner Future
The Rocky Mountain Institute, described by Creyts as an “internationally recognized leader on global energy issues and climate change,” is committed to ending tailpipe emissions and aligning the transportation sector with a 1.5ºC target. Their goal is to create cleaner air, save lives, and promote a sustainable future.
The organization advocates for various initiatives, including gas stove bans, electric vehicle mandates, and the establishment of a nationwide electric vehicle charging network. They also encourage the transition of public transportation fleets to low- and zero-carbon alternatives.
Meeting with Climate Activists
Secretary Buttigieg’s meeting with Creyts has drawn criticism from some quarters. Caitlin Sutherland, Executive Director of Americans for Public Trust, expressed concern over Buttigieg’s association with “radicals” who seek to ban gas stoves and eliminate fossil fuels. Sutherland also accused Buttigieg of hypocrisy, citing his use of taxpayer-funded private jets while advocating for climate action.
However, Buttigieg’s commitment to addressing climate change is evident in his recent approval of grants totaling $1.7 billion to transform public bus fleets from diesel to low- and zero-carbon alternatives. This expenditure is part of the Biden administration’s larger plan, with an additional $5 billion expected to be allocated over the next three years.
Collaboration with China
The Rocky Mountain Institute’s efforts extend beyond the United States. The organization has collaborated with the Chinese government to phase out fossil fuels and develop sustainable energy solutions. While some have raised concerns about this collaboration, Buttigieg’s meeting with Creyts focused primarily on the institute’s work in electrifying the transportation sector.
Despite questions about the influence of Buttigieg’s meeting on policy, the Department of Transportation did not comment directly. Instead, they highlighted the funding provided by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for a low and no-emission bus program, emphasizing the benefits of American-made buses for taxpayers and air quality improvement.
The Rocky Mountain Institute did not respond to a request for comment.
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