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US gives school districts $900 million for electric school buses

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(Reuters) – The White House on Wednesday unveiled nearly $900 million in awards to 530 school districts to replace thousands of aging, gas-fueled school buses with cleaner, mainly electric models.

The funding is the third tranche of $5 billion that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hand out over five years through a clean school bus program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021.

The EPA rebates will support the purchase of 3,400 school buses, 92% of them electric, the White House said. School districts in low income, tribal and rural communities will receive about 67% of the funds.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

The EPA’s clean school bus program is part of a broader push by President Joe Biden’s administration to upgrade public school infrastructure and reduce pollution from old buses. It also helps deliver on Biden’s pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, funnel federal climate investments to underserved communities and create demand for American-made electric vehicles.

KEY QUOTE

“This announcement is not just about clean school buses. It’s about the bigger picture. We are improving air quality for our children, reducing greenhouse gas pollution and expanding our nation’s leadership in developing the clean vehicles of the future,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said on a call with reporters. “With increasing demand for electric school buses, we’ll see the development of new good-paying manufacturing jobs and investment in local businesses.”

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