Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

New Mexico school districts win grants for electric school buses

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the award of funding for five New Mexico school districts to purchase 12 electric school buses, including Las Cruces Public School District 2.

Senator Martin Heinrich joined leaders of New Mexico nonprofits advocating for clean air, environmental justice, a stable climate, children’s health and for energy efficiency to celebrate the announcement:

“I am thrilled to welcome this first round of funding for the Clean School Bus Program,” Heinrich, founder and co-chair of the Electrification Caucus, stated in the press release. “The clean energy and electrification investments that we secured in the Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act are by far the most significant steps that Congress has taken to trace the widespread deployment of highly efficient, fully electric and climate pollution-free technologies. Modernizing the vehicles that transport New Mexico’s children to school—especially with clean and electric buses—will make our air cleaner and improve public health, and create important energy and fuel savings for public school districts. Electrifying our homes, buildings, and vehicles is one of the surest climate actions that we can take right now that will help secure a more equitable, healthier future for all our communities.”

“I am excited that our iconic yellow school buses have begun this transition to zero emissions across the country, and here in New Mexico,” Ana Rios, New Mexico Coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force, stated in the press release. “The Clean School Buses program will bring many health benefits to our children as they will breathe cleaner air. I hope to see more electric school buses in Albuquerque as we work together to reduce the air pollution impacting our beloved communities and prioritize clean air and good health for all families.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our rural environment,” Nena Benavidez, Co-Founding Director of Creciendo Nuevo México and resident of Grant County, stated in the press release. “We look forward to the state of New Mexico taking advantage of these funds to modernize our infrastructure and provide clean, healthy transportation for our children.”

“We are so excited to see this first round of Clean School Bus rebates awarded to five school districts in New Mexico,” Aaron Kressig, transportation electrification manager with Western Resource Advocates, stated in the press release. “Electric school buses will provide enormous benefits to communities that are already feeling the impacts of climate change and disproportionately bear the burdens of air pollution, while also providing cost savings to school districts and health benefits for children. This EPA funding provides a great first step on the path to electrifying school transportation and reducing emissions that are driving climate change across the state.”

“Electric school buses save New Mexico school districts money,” Tammy Fiebelkorn, New Mexico Representative, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, stated in the press release. “Transitioning to electric buses lowers long-term maintenance costs, eliminates unpredictable fossil fuel costs, and reduces pollution. The EPA funding jumpstarts a sustainable and stable future for our students and communities. Every school district should pursue future rounds of this funding.”

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