I was honored to be with President Biden at The White House just before Thanksgiving to sign the largest investment in American infrastructure since construction of the interstate highway system.
Democrats fulfilled their promise to pass bold legislation, and its benefits are widespread.
This law is a once in a generation investment in our future. It covers everything from funding to repair our aging roads and bridges to high-speed broadband expansion to legacy pollution cleanup.
Nearly one year into President Biden’s tenure, the unemployment rates are at their lowest level in 50 years. However, this new law will accelerate our economic recovery. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed in 2009, is expected to create 2,000,000 union jobs with good wages each year for the next 10 years.
This bipartisan law is a win-win situation for both our economy and the environment.
This law will make climate-focused investments to support Maine’s Climate Action Plan. It will also help our state reach carbon neutrality by 2045. Here’s how:
The largest contributor to Maine’s greenhouse-gas emissions is transportation. The bill provides $19million for Maine to expand public electric car charging, as passenger cars and trucks account for 54 percent of our greenhouse-gas emissions. The law also funds measures to improve public transportation options throughout the state.
We adapted the landmark infrastructure law to our focus Rail transit, too. It addresses Amtrak’s maintenance backlog, modernizes Northeast Corridor, and creates partnership grants to intercity rail service.
In addition, $2.5 Billion in law funds will be used for this purpose. zero-emission school buses. As a Maine Islander for 40 years, I am thrilled that this bill also includes $2.5 Billion low-carbon ferries. We are focused on strengthening America’s diverse transportation systems.
Our bill-drafting process was focused on the most pressing issues, and the final product addresses them all.
It was estimated that the U.S. lost nearly $100 billion last year due to extreme weather and climate-related catastrophes. By FundingThis law will fund key climate investments. It will also provide resources for states to make infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events like wildfires, drought, and heat. This proactive approach saves taxpayers money over the long-term and is also common sense.
More than $65 BillionOur power infrastructure will be updated, making it the largest investment in clean-energy transmission grid and grid in American History. Our transition to a zero emission economy will be accelerated by funding new programs that support the development of and deployment of cutting-edge clean energy technologies.
These are just a few of the many ways that the infrastructure law can help us mitigate the climate crisis. But there are many other important benefits for the environment.
Our military bases, our drinking water, rain jackets, nonstick frying pans, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances are all around us. This new law is dedicated $10 billionThese funds will be used to assist communities in addressing such disasters. I was also able to secure $390million for Maine to modernize its drinking and wastewater utilities, while making them more resilient.
America’s domestic infrastructure investments have plummeted since the 1960sBy 40%. We now rank13thinternationallyOverall infrastructure quality is in an unacceptable state. This law was a joint effort by President Biden and Congress to create a stronger, more competitive America.
Make no mistake, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is only one part of the equation to prepare America in the 21st century. To keep up with other nations on a global stage, we need to pass the Build Back better Act. America is the only nation that does not offer paid leave. new parentscaregivers, and where people dieBecause they can’t afford insulin to save their lives. The U.S. House of Representatives passed Build Back Better in November. It would end that. It would support the needs of Americans, from birth to old age, and be the most significant improvement to the safety net since The New Deal.
These two bills together address the serious issues facing our nation that have been ignored too long. We must seize the opportunity to make tomorrow brighter and implement the changes that voters have elected to bring about.
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