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Transportation Secretary's GA Visit Highlights Clean-Energy Investments

Georgia is home to more than 70,000 jobs in clean vehicles, renewable energy, energy efficiency and more. (VAKSMANV/Adobe Stock)
Georgia is home to more than 70,000 jobs in clean vehicles, renewable energy, energy efficiency and more. (VAKSMANV/Adobe Stock)
ATLANTA -- As U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visits Georgia today, community advocates are highlighting the importance of investments in the clean-energy and transportation sectors.

The bipartisan infrastructure deal making its way through Congress includes billions of dollars of funding for electric-vehicle charging infrastructure and electric buses for the nation's schools.

Almeta Cooper, Georgia state coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force, said Buttigieg's visit highlights the opportunity for Georgia to strengthen the economy, combat climate change and improve health and wellness outcomes for families.

"We don't have a history of Georgia being dependent on fossil fuels," Cooper pointed out. "And we have a diverse topography or geography. So that's one of the reasons why it's been a great place for clean-energy jobs to take hold."

Georgia employs more than 70,000 workers in jobs involving clean vehicles, renewable energy, efficiency and more, and 12% of those jobs are in rural areas.

Cooper noted people in Georgia understand and acknowledge the need to act fast to curb climate change.

She emphasized the current diesel buses that are used to transport children to and from school can be detrimental to health, especially for kids with asthma or other respiratory issues.

"We are really hopeful that also it will be viewed just as a first step," Cooper remarked. "That Congress will really go bold and make sure that they're seeing workforce development, especially for communities that live near highways and refineries and power plants and other sources of toxic pollution."

Cooper added Georgia's coastline has 650 square miles that fall within the 100-year coastal floodplain, or the area predicted to flood in a 100-year storm, and that's expected to increase in the coming years. She hopes future legislation will incorporate more of the proposed funding from Biden's American Jobs and American Families plans.