WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Departments of Energy and Transportation announced Tuesday, Sept. 20, that Gabe Klein, former dommissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation and director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation, will lead the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which was created by President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
As the first-ever executive director, Klein will oversee efforts to support the deployment of $7.5 billion to build a national electric vehicle charging network with a focus on filling gaps in rural and disadvantaged communities and hard-to-reach locations, as well as other vehicle electrification programs across the departments, according to a news release.
The joint office provides technical assistance, analysis, and support to states and localities to help modernize the nation’s transportation system and give Americans the option to choose electric vehicles and save money fueling their vehicles.
“DOE is pleased to welcome Gabe Klein as executive director of the joint office — the latest milestone for our interagency efforts to kickstart the electric transportation future here in the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Gabe has spent his career spurring innovation for sustainable transportation, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him working for more electric cars and trucks on our roadways.”
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “We look forward to working with Gabe to help deliver on President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the American people and ensure that every community — from the largest cities to the most rural areas — can reap the benefits of the electric vehicle revolution.”
Communities that are traditionally underserved often lack adequate charging infrastructure and investments to support electric vehicles. The joint office provides technical assistance and analytical support to states, cities, and localities to develop EV charging plans that will ease the clean energy transition for underserved communities and create good-paying jobs that accelerate the growth of the clean energy workforce.
Under Klein’s leadership, the joint office will support states, cities, and local communities with implementing investments in zero-emission passenger, transit and heavy-duty vehicles that support the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative goal of delivering 40% of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investment to undeserved communities. These efforts will also support President Biden’s national goal for half of all new United States passenger vehicle sales to be electric vehicles by 2030, the news release stated.
“I will seize the opportunity to steward a critical shift in our transportation economy from fossil fuels to clean, electric energy systems, as there has never been a more important mission in our recent history than solving the climate crisis,” Klein said. “Our task to bring together private and public investments to support the deployment of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers nationwide is a major step toward President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment in American Jobs and equitable access to affordable transportation while creating good-paying jobs for Americans.”
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