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Here's some good news - it seems that we are using 157,000 less barrels of gasoline every day this year as compared to last year.  And here's the bad news: We are poised to spend a record $491 billion on gasoline this year.  

There are many reasons why we are using less and paying more, though essentially, it boils down to the fact that globally, oil prices are up.  However, one way we can use less oil and actually not pay more is - drum roll - by biking and walking.

Biking and walking currently account for 12% of our trips, yet we spend less than 2% of federal transportation funding on infrastructure to make these trips safer or add the paths, trails, sidewalks and crosswalks we need.  Investments in walking and biking, under the federal program called Transportation Enhancements, help give people safe, clean, and convenient travel options that allow us to get around without Big Oil.

So, this year, while we are draining our bank accounts to spend $491 billion on gasoline (which keeps Big Oil happy) we're investing only a tiny amount on safe walking and biking through our national transportation policy.  And it turns out, spending on biking and walking infrastructure actually helps create more jobs than spending on roads and highways!  

Yet, one Senator is ready to hold up an entire bill to about federal transportation spending over the small portion of funds in the bill dedicated to safe walking and biking.

Senator Coburn (R-OK) has tried to block dedicated funding for biking and walking before (and lost).  From Alaska to Tennessee, our members are weighing in with their Senators - letting them know about biking paths that have improved their neighborhoods and helped people get out of their cars.  

Senator Coburn's threat to hold up transportation spending over funding for walking and biking will unfold over the next 24 hours, but the fight to increase our transportation choices will continue in force on September 24 with Moving Planet actions across the country all sending the same strong message - it is time to move beyond fossil fuels -- including gasoline.  

Join us build the momentum we need to show that Americans want transportation choices and livable communities where walking and biking are safe.  Find out how you can get involved - plan your own event or sign up for an event near you - and join us on September 24th to get the planet moving beyond fossil fuels.

Originally posted to DK GreenRoots on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sunday Train.

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