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Transportation

Our transportation system is outdated and broken—and it needs to change.

Our transportation system is outdated and broken—and it needs to change.

What we're facing

Gas-guzzling cars and trucks have defined American life for more than a hundred years—and we’ve paid the price. Transportation is now a major cause of air pollution-related death and disease, and recently became the #1 source of global warming pollution in the United States.

If we do nothing, we risk not only our own health, but the future habitability of the planet.

Fortunately, change is afoot. Federal standards have made cars and trucks more efficient. Electric vehicles are becoming more widespread. And new mobility options and technologies like ride-hailing and self-driving cars could redefine how we move around.

But progress isn’t guaranteed, and we’re running out of time. The best climate science suggests that we have until mid-century to dramatically clean up the transportation sector. In that time, we must transition away from oil, while deploying new technologies that cut pollution, ensure equitable access, and support our climate goals.

The choices we make now will live with us for generations. You can help.

Get involved

What you can do:

Buy clean vehicles

If you’re able, replace your existing car or truck with something more fuel efficient, or buy an electric vehicle. Seventy-five percent of people and growing live in places where driving on electricity is cleaner than driving a 50 MPG gasoline car.

Choose clean options (when you can)

For many people, carpooling, biking, walking, and public transportation are great alternatives to driving. And reducing the number of miles you fly can go a long way: one round-trip flight from New York to California is equivalent to roughly 2.5 months of driving.

Support clean transportation policies

Local, state, and federal policy makers make decisions around transportation all the time—and they need to hear from you. Make your voice heard; write and call your elected officials, participate in local meetings, and, above all, vote.

"When lawmakers in Washington and their staffs want solid, scientific analysis of policies designed to encourage clean vehicles, the Union of Concerned Scientists is one of the first places we turn."

Senator Dick Durbin

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