Union Pacific railroad works to cut its carbon emissions

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific railroad plans to expand its use of renewable fuels and explore using battery-powered locomotives in the coming years to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said Monday that it plans to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases 26% by 2030 when compared to its 2018 levels.

To do that, the railroad plans to increase the amount of biodiesel it uses to 10% of all the fuel it uses by 2025, and it will continue working to reduce the amount of fuel it consumes by expanding its use of a cruise control system on its locomotives and continuing to refurbish older locomotives to improve their efficiency.

Union Pacific officials said the railroad will also work with locomotive manufacturers to develop battery-powered locomotives that could be used in some of its railyards, but it will likely still be several years before those are available.

UP CEO Lance Fritz said the railroad is taking “deliberate steps to improve our environmental footprint.”

In addition to those environmental goals, railroad officials said they want to increase the diversity of Union Pacific’s workforce by doubling the number of women it employs and significantly increasing the number of minority workers it employs. By 2030, the railroad wants 11% of its employees to be women and 40% to be people of color.

Union Pacific is one of the nation’s largest railroads, and it operates 32,400 miles (52,000 kilometers) of track in 23 Western states.

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