RICHMOND, VA- On July 1st, the of this year the U.S. House of Representative voted to pass, an infrastructure bill that totals over $500 billion dollars. The infrastructure portion of this bill would cover public transport, walking travel, bike travel, and be used to help promote renewable or green solutions to these projects.
The president of Environment America, Wendy Wendlandt said the following in a release regarding these funs being allocated. “It’s 2021, but much of our infrastructure is stuck in the 1950s. The INVEST in America Act is the approach we need to tackle today’s problems, including the greatest challenge of our time: climate change. This bill’s investments in clean, electric and zero-carbon transportation options such as walking and biking are good news for people and the planet.”
In addition to this statement, Environment America put out a press release detailing exactly what they believed would be needed in this bill last year. The plan they put out highlights specific areas that they believe need the most attention such as repairing America’s bridges and roads or repairing our water infrastructure. Many of the things Environment America seeks as solutions are proposed in some form in this recent bill.
In addition to working on these projects, the bill would also allocate money to support America’s “natural infrastructure.” This would be defined as our wetlands, forests, rivers or any naturally found in America’s environment.
This sentiment is echoed by the Campaigns director of PIRG, Matt Casale. who said the following in a press release on the subject, “The transportation status quo in the U.S. is inefficient and unsustainable. The INVEST in America Act breaks the mold and takes a new fix-it-first and more carbon-conscious approach to support a safer, cleaner and greener transportation network. If signed into law, this bill will drastically improve our options for getting around while making Americans healthier and tackling the climate crisis.”
Environment America has polled the general public on their opinions regarding green climate plans and they found that 70% of voters support addressing climate change through shifting the use of carbon and making their homes more efficient. Specifically, the bills seeks to protect the country’s waterways, watersheds, restore coastlines and increase climate resilience.
Wendlandt went on to clarify just how vital she feels this issue is in a later quote stating, “Climate change is making extreme weather more frequent and severe. We’re already witnessing tropical storms devastate communities in the Southeast and scorching heatwaves causing severe droughts across the Western part of the country. Now is not the time to water down President Biden’s bold and transformational American Jobs Plan, This infrastructure plan is our opportunity to put the U.S. on the path toward a more sustainable, healthier future – and we cannot miss it.”
Aside from a climate focus on many of the infrastructure projects listed in the bill, other projects in the bill are taking aim at lead water pipes allocating $45 billion dollars to replace any existing lead piping in the country.
The bill will now move to the Senate to be debated and ultimately voted on again. The bill is expected to be voted on some time this week or early next week.