America is experiencing a jobless recovery from a pronounced and prolonged recession, which resulted in the attrition of millions of American jobs across all sectors of the economy. At the same time, the nation sends massive amounts of money overseas to support our dependence on foreign oil, while transportation represents a significant component of this oil dependence and consequent greenhouse gas pollution.
Moving to a clean energy economy that reinvests in American industries and prioritizes efficient energy use and pollution reduction represents a significant opportunity to create jobs and promote sustainable economic growth. The freight rail industry can be a part of this transition, having demonstrated its green potential by making significant strides in efficiency, limiting pollution and creating and sustaining quality jobs. Economic models estimate about 7,800 green jobs are created for every billion dollars of freight rail capital investment. Furthermore, the industry has nearly doubled the amount of goods it has shipped without increasing fuel consumption over the past three decades, and creates a fraction of the pollution of other transport modes such as trucking and aviation. Its continued growth will generate green jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil and contribute to solving climate change.