Environmental group, elected officials push for clean transit

Almeta Cooper says they held Wednesday's press conference to call on congress to give adequate funding for transit, specifically electric school buses.

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— Electric school buses might sound like something futuristic, but Blue Bird has been making them since 1994.

Moms Clean Air Force, a community of more than a million moms and dads united against air pollution, held a news conference Wednesday at the Blue Bird facility in Fort Valley.

Almeta Cooper, the organization’s Georgia coordinator, says students riding diesel school buses are being exposed to diesel exhaust.

According to the American Cancer Society, diesel exhaust is classified by the EPA as a likely carcinogen to humans. Cooper says electric school buses help keep students and the environment healthy.

“We want them to be able to go to their events without them having worry about the five to 10 times amount of pollution that comes into the bus when you have a diesel fuel commissioned bus,” Cooper said.

Cooper says they held Wednesday’s news conference to call on congress to give adequate funding for transit, specifically electric school buses. She says Senator Raphael Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff recently led the congressional delegation in asking to add $30 billion to transit funding. Cooper says the issue is important to moms.

“We focus on protecting clean air and protecting the health of our children and school buses,” she said. “Unfortunately, diesel school buses in particular are very carbon polluters and endanger the health of children.”

District 2 Congressman Sanford Bishop attended Wednesday’s event. Representatives of Senator Ossoff and Senator Warnock, along with several local elected officials  joined him. Bishop says he supports investment in clean transit.

“I want to do everything that I can to help our country invest in clean transit,” he said.  “Electric buses can do that, and will help us as we face this awful climate change crisis.”

Cooper says if you support funding for electric school buses:

  • You should contact your congressional representatives and senators.
  • If you’re interested in joining Moms Clean Air Force, go to their website.
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