Jim Burnley quoted extensively in National Journal story on “Moving Cooler” report

2 min

Venable partner and former Secretary of Transportation Jim Burnley was quoted extensively in a National Journal story about the Urban Land Institute’s controversial “Moving Cooler” report outlining strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation sources. The report examined measures to cut fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions by reducing the number of miles that Americans drive and improving the efficiency of the surface transportation network. 

Although the report looked at numerous strategies, what transportation advocacy groups were quick to condemn were the report’s proposals to encourage denser land-use patterns to reduce the need for driving and to promote greater use of nonmotorized transportation alternatives. Opponents in the transportation sector say assert that technological solutions can substantially and cost-effectively lower transportation emissions long before new development patterns take hold. 

Burnley, who headed the Transportation Department during the Reagan administration, said, "What's going on here [with the “livability concept”] is really ominous...” 

Burnley called on the industry to generate popular opposition to any significant push to link land-use and transportation policies. "The transportation community needs to vigorously engage in this debate to assure that all of the ramifications of these policies are clearly understood by Congress and the public -- including, most particularly, the threat to the right to travel," Burnley said. "When the public wakes up to the more extreme versions of the livability doctrine, when you start telling them where they have to live and how they can travel, I think the health care backlash we're seeing is nothing compared to what we'll see when people wake up to this."