The Clean Energy Future Has Arrived at the Isaac School District in Phoenix with Biden/Harris Funding of New Electric Powered School Buses

From Mayor Gallego’s Social Media.

The Isaac Elementary School District in Phoenix has taken another step in advancing the drive to sustainability and clean energy by receiving an Environmental Protection Agency Clean Bus Grant for $18 million to “replace six fossil fuel buses with six electric powered ones along with charging infrastructure.”

Isaac had recently celebrated receipt of another federal grant to plant trees on its campus to increase shade and combat extreme heat.

The funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law spearheaded by the Biden/Harris Administration and a problem solving group of Democratic and Republican Congressional Legislators.

Commenting at an event to celebrate the receipt of the E.P.A. grant, Isaac Superintendent Dr. Mario Ventura relayed that “Our new electric buses represent more than just a mode of transportation. They are an example of our commitment to a cleaner and healthier future.”

Dr,. Ventura also pointed out that this direction toward cleaner energy zero net emission and safer technological buses would “reduce our carbon footprint” and “safer, healthier environments for all our students.”

He also said that the electric buses would provide a long term economic benefit because they require less maintenance.

Martha Guzman, the Southwest Regional Director for the E.P.A. spoke next and immediately complimented all the local leadership and activists like Moms for Clean Air that helped make the grant acceptance for Isaac school District possible.

She cited Arizona and its leaders like Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego as staunch sustainability champions whose efforts combined with other state and local leaders have resulted in the Grand Canyon state receiving 191 clean energy buses to date with Phoenix acquiring 47 electric clean energy buses for seven area school districts, several of whom serve diverse Title One populations, fulfilling President Biden’s goals to disburse these funds to the areas most in need.

Mayor Kate Gallego spoke next and thanked Director Guzman and, later, the Biden/Harris Administration for helping “invest in our most important asset; our kids.”

She then complimented the Isaac student body and staff for their efforts toward turning their corner of the Earth greener and cleaner.

Noting that it was World Asthma Day and her personal experience with that illness, Ms. Gallego stated that:

“Every kid deserves the chance to breathe clean air and we’re making a big step towards that today…We can do better and that’s what we are celebrating today. We are stepping up in a big way to make sure we have clean school buses in the community…47 buses in our community. These will be clean buses where we don’t have to worry about the tailpipe emissions…This is a big step forward to new quality buses…”

Noting that the “climate footprint of a diesel school bus is about 3.3 pounds of CO2 per mile,” the Mayor pointed out that “if we switched out half of our school buses to electric Nationwide, we could avoid 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. That’s a big deal.”

She also reminded the audience that the National Weather Service predicted another harsh summer for the Phoenix Metro Area with extreme heats, saying “we don’t want to keep doing that” and “we want to do our part to lead on climate change so that when these young people are in charge, we have left them with a better planet and not a dangerously warming planet…”

Later, the Mayor and her team posted on social media:

Hazel Chandler from Mom’s Clean Air Force spoke after the Mayor and said, “being here is a dream to me. Clean school buses have been a national priority for Moms for several years.”

Like the Mayor, she stressed the importance of a cleaner and healthier environment (like shifting away from diesel powered buses) to help children with conditions like asthma breathe better because “that is their right.”

She applauded the Isaac School District receiving the E.P.A. grant for electric vehicle buses, saying “the dream has come true. Today, there’s hope and a cause for amazing celebration…We are witnessing a transformation, not only in this school district but in school districts all across our state.”

The last speaker was Isaac Seventh Grader and Student Council member Ernesto Gomez.

Saying the new electric buses were something close to his heart, Mr. Gomez stated that he looked forward to riding on a “quiet” bus where he would no longer have to “smell the exhaust” fumes and see “the smoke” coming out of them.

He also said that it was gratifying to know that they would no longer “be harming the planet” and how these buses are a step toward “a cleaner world.”

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