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Joe Lo

Public funding of $25 billion to airports generated little controversy despite flying’s outsized climate impact, in contrast to the European discourse

The $550bn bipartisan infrastructure bill was signed into law last month after intense negotiations between Congress Democrats and Republicans. It includes spending on green transport like $66bn on rail and $7.5bn on electric vehicle chargers as well as $25bn for airports.

Speaking at Dallas Fort Worth airport after meeting airline executives, transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said that the bipartisan infrastructure law was “an investment in climate equity”.

Campaigners, on the other hand, said airport expansion could be “a big problem for the climate” and hurt the health of millions of Americans who live, study and work near airports. But unlike in Europe, it has not generated significant controversy, reflecting a lack of low-carbon alternatives to travel long distances.

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