Last month, the President stood with Democrats and Republicans to announce the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework – which makes the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century and is an important first investment to ensure the U.S. can tackle the climate crisis.
Last week, the President and Senators announced details of the historic investment, which includes historic components that will help combat climate change, advance environmental justice, and create good-paying, union jobs. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the transportation sector, replacing lead pipes to deliver clean drinking water, electrifying America’s power grid, and more, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal embeds key provisions that advance President Biden’s climate plan alongside his full Build Back Better Agenda.
President Biden promised to work across the aisle to deliver results for working families, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal demonstrates we can come together to take key steps towards building an economy and country that is more sustainable, resilient, and just – all while creating jobs, furthering environmental justice, and addressing climate change.
President Biden believes we must invest in our country and our people by creating good jobs, tackling the climate crisis, and sustaining equitable economic growth for decades to come. The deal – along with his Build Back Better Agenda – will deliver progress towards this vision for working families across the country.
Modernize Public Transit and Reduce Emissions
The transportation sector is the nation’s top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which we must reduce to ensure we meet President Biden’s goals to create a net-zero economy by 2050. And, America’s transit infrastructure has a multi-billion dollar repair backlog with more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal makes the largest investment in public transit in history and is the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak – helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions when repairing, upgrading, and modernizing the nation’s transit infrastructure. The bill invests $105 billion in new funding to improve healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans by modernizing and expanding transit and rail networks across the country. It will replace thousands of transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles. And, it will benefit communities of color since these households are twice as likely to take public transportation and many of these communities lack sufficient public transit options. In addition, it will help transit workers who are disproportionally workers of color. Bus and transit workers are 31% Black and 19% Hispanic, compared to 12% and 18% respectively of the workforce overall.
Build Up EV Infrastructure
U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. The President believes that must change. The bill invests $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States and is a critical element in the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs. The bill will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. Federal funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities.
Electrify America’s Buses
American school buses play a critical role in expanding access to education, but they are also a significant source of pollution. The deal will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities, helping school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero emission buses, and replace the yellow school bus fleet for America’s children. The deal invests $5 billion in zero and low emission school buses, in addition to more than $5 billion in funding for public transit agencies to adopt low- and no-emissions buses. These investments will drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, creating jobs and supporting domestic manufacturing, while also removing diesel buses from some of our most vulnerable communities. In addition, they will help the more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers who breathe polluted air on their rides to and from school. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other health problems that hurt our communities and cause students to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities.
Reduce Emissions Across Airports, Ports, and Waterways
The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors. According to some rankings, no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide. Our ports and waterways need repair and reimagination too. The bill invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies. Modern, resilient, and sustainable port, airport, and freight infrastructure will support U.S. competitiveness by removing bottlenecks and expediting commerce and reduce the environmental impact on neighboring communities.
Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, airport power goes down, or schools get flooded. Last year alone, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. People of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. The deal makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber attacks, with an investment of roughly $50 billion. This includes funds to protect against droughts and floods, in addition to a major investment in weatherization. The bill is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.
Deliver Clean Drinking Water
Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. The deal’s $55 billion investment represents the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and the dangerous chemical PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl). It will replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines. From rural towns to struggling cities, the deal invests in water infrastructure across America, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.
Address Legacy Pollution
In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. The deal invests $21 billion in environmental remediation, making the largest investment in addressing the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods in American history, creating good-paying union jobs in hard-hit energy communities and advancing economic and environmental justice. The bill includes funds to clean up superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells.
Electrify America’s Power Infrastructure
As the recent Texas power outages demonstrated, our aging electric grid needs urgent modernization. A Department of Energy study found that power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion annually. The deal’s roughly $60 billion investment is the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It invests in demonstration projects and research hubs for next generation technologies like advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen.
BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA
Tackling the climate crisis and reaching President Biden’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 requires consistent actionand historic investments in sustainable, resilient, and equitable infrastructure – and this deal is a critical step towards realizing these objectives. But we know there is more work to do – to grow our economy, create jobs, reduce climate pollution, and ensure more Americans can participate fully and equally in our economy.
In addition to the bipartisan deal, President Biden is dedicated to fulfilling his entire vision to tackle the climate crisis – which includes advancing his full Build Back Better Agenda that will:
- Create an energy efficiency and clean electricity standard to send a market signal that bring additional private investment off the sidelines and into modernizing America’s electric grid – a key step towards reaching President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
- Extend and expand clean energy and EV tax credits for businesses and consumers to spur demand for domestic manufacturing, accelerate clean energy and EV deployment, and grow our capacity to build those technologies in the U.S.
- Enlist a Civilian Climate Corps to put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters, bolster community resilience, and advance environmental justice – all while paving the way for good-paying, union jobs.