Democrats aim to spend $25 billion for electric bus fleet

As part of the Biden infrastructure plan, Democrats putting forward legislation to electrify every school bus in America.

Dan Verbin ,

School bus parked outside US school
School bus parked outside US school

On Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers touted legislation that would see $25 billion designated towards the upgrade of American school bus batteries from gasoline and diesel to electric.

The move is part of the children’s health component of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, as reported by the Associated Press.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), expands upon the Biden administration’s promotion this week of electric school buses, which it says are essential for addressing climate change and economic inequalities.

School buses account for 90% of the nation’s buses, and typically drive 25 million children to and from school daily. Emissions from diesel and gasoline buses are linked to childhood respiratory issues. Studies have found correlations between emissions and lower academic performance.

The legislature would create federal grant money over the next decade, with 40% of it going to replace school buses in lower income, minority communities.

“I know firsthand how outdated diesel school buses expose our children to harmful and unnecessary pollution,” Padilla said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, my lungs would be filled with diesel exhaust by the time I arrived at school each day.”