Press Releases

DelBene Introduces Bill to Accelerate Decarbonization of Larger Commercial Vehicles

Legislation would improve coordination between federal agencies to decarbonize planes, ships, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks faster

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) introduced legislation that would help accelerate the decarbonization of planes, ships, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The Transportation Innovation Coordination Act would expand the scope of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to coordinate federal efforts around decarbonizing these larger commercial vehicles.

Transportation is responsible for one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and reducing emissions is critical to tackling climate change. Emissions from the transportation sector rose 11.4 % from 2020-21, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Created in the bipartisan infrastructure law, the joint office between the Departments of Transportation and Energy currently focuses on the electrification of passenger vehicles. DelBene’s legislation would allow the office to help accelerate the decarbonization of commercial transportation through research, technical assistance, data sharing, reports, and more.

“To meet our emissions reduction goals, we need to rapidly decarbonize the transportation sector, especially larger commercial vehicles like cargo and cruise ships, long-haul trucks, and planes. The joint office has already had an incredible impact in helping decarbonize smaller personal vehicles. The legislation I’m introducing today would expand its scope and leverage the office’s expertise in doing the same for commercial transportation,” said DelBene

The legislation is endorsed by the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association and the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association. It is supported by many aspects of the transportation sector.

“For more than a decade, we have worked to phase out emissions from seaport-related activities and to be the greenest and most energy-efficient gateways in North America,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President and Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-Chair Deanna Keller. “The Transportation Innovation Coordination Act will play a key role in driving cross-agency engagement on these important topics, and serve as a welcome complement to the investments already passed by Congress through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.”

“We have set a goal for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to be the greenest and most energy-efficient airport in North America, at the same time as we are working with partners to develop the first-ever green cruise corridor,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Sam Cho. “To achieve these visions in the hard-to-decarbonize aviation and maritime sectors, coordinated federal support for the development and implementation of a wide variety of clean energy and alternative fuel innovations will be essential. We deeply appreciate Representative DelBene’s leadership in this effort.”

“Congresswoman DelBene's bill would provide a tremendous boost to zero-emission aviation. The Departments of Energy and Transportation have separately developed significant expertise, and the cross-agency synergies from this bill could unlock more sustainable aviation, cheaper air travel, and greater U.S. competitiveness,” said ZeroAvia CEO and Founder Val Miftakhov.

A summary of the bill can be found here. The text of the legislation can be found here.