Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are on the cusp of passing one of the most important pieces of legislation in recent history: the bipartisan infrastructure deal that could infuse $1.2 trillion over the next five years into roads and bridges, public transit and—most importantly— efforts to combat climate change.
This deal—called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—represents an important chance to tackle environmental issues while also creating around two million good-paying union jobs to boost our economy.
Simply put, it’s one of the most meaningful pieces of legislation of its type in decades
Specifically, this legislation would allocate:
- $21 billion in environmental remediation to address legacy pollution in environmental justice and other communities across America. This money will fund the cleanup of superfund and brownfield sites, will help reclaim abandoned mine lands, and will cap thousands of orphaned gas wells that pollute our environment.
- $73 billion to upgrade our power infrastructure, including building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. This will be the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history.
- $7.5 billion to build out a national network of Electric Vehicle chargers. This is the first-ever national investment in EV charging infrastructure in the United States.
- $2.5 billion for zero-emission buses, and $2.5 billion for low-emission buses, that will result in the delivery of thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities. This will directly impact the more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers who breathe polluted air on their rides to and from school.
- $55 billion in investments into clean drinking water across the country, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and the dangerous chemical PFAS.
- $238 million for efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
- $28.6 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.
That is one impressive list! The importance of this legislation as a start for addressing our climate and shared environmental challenges cannot be overstated, and we need your help to get it over the finish line!
Do your part: tell U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey to support this legislation when it comes up for a vote. Tell them that inaction on climate change is no longer an option, and that our planet cannot withstand any more setbacks or delays.
This bipartisan legislation defeats the notion that environmental and economic progress must always be at odds and our communities cannot have one with the other. PennFuture has long rejected this philosophy and this legislation is the latest example of why.
This bipartisan infrastructure deal is exactly the kind of bold, ambitious action we need to meet the challenges of this moment. It is a significant down payment that, when partnered with the reconciliation bill that could also be taken up this week, represents our best chance to tackle the climate crisis to date.
The Senate is expected to vote on this bipartisan bill tomorrow, so time is of the essence.
Contact your senators now and ask them to do the right thing and support this deal in Congress!