Skip to main content

Climate policy outlook: High-speed rail finally breaks ground in the U.S.

This week’s most important climate policy stories.

A blue high-speed train in motion.

An example of a high-speed train that Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke about last month in Las Vegas. Photo: Shutterstock/ Denis Belitsky

  • The Biden administration is investing $3 billion into the U.S.’s first high-speed rail line. Last April, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a public-private partnership with the Florida-based Brightline to construct the railway, which will reach from the Las Vegas-based Harry Reid International Airport all the way to Southern California. The high-speed rail will run electric trains powered by wind and solar power, although details regarding that infrastructure are yet to be released. 
  • Former President Donald Trump in April asked oil executives for $1 billion in cash for his campaign at a meeting in Mar-a-Lago. He reportedly described the donation as a deal, promising the oil executives tax cuts and credits once he re-entered the White House. Oil magnate Harold Hamm organized the event. This meeting falls in line with rhetoric from Trump’s recent campaign rallies, where he’s largely chided President Joe Biden for raising gas prices with a climate agenda. 
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is joining Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support a resolution that repeals Biden’s EV battery tax credits, which allow some Chinese-made battery parts. The credit allows the Biden administration to further enable the transition from gasoline and diesel vehicles to EV battery-powered cars. Manchin and Brown are expected to introduce the Congressional Review Act to undo the rule, which requires a simple majority vote to pass. 

[Continue the conversation on climate policy at Circularity 24 (May 22-24, Chicago), the leading conference for professionals building the circular economy.]

More on this topic