Today, the Senate passed a $550 billion dollar bipartisan infrastructure package. While the deal includes funding for priorities like pollution cleanup, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, modernizing the electric grid, and plugging orphan oil and gas wells, it does not include sufficient funding for most of these items. It also includes problematic investments in carbon capture, makes clean school bus funding available for fossil-fueled buses, and includes provisions that will undermine meaningful public input and the review of health and environmental impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act for infrastructure, hardrock mining, and logging projects among others.
The following is a statement from Marty Hayden, vice president of Policy and Legislation at Earthjustice:
“In a time of ever worsening climate disasters, we cannot afford to stop at half measures. The bipartisan infrastructure deal makes some important investments, but falls short of the transformational change we need to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice. It also includes harmful provisions that undermine the National Environmental Policy Act and government accountability, thereby denying impacted communities important information and a meaningful voice on projects that could impact them.
“Congress must now shift its focus to passing a $3.5 trillion budget package that takes ambitious climate action and is rooted in environmental justice. The budget must include significant investments in clean energy, zero-emissions transportation, homes, and buildings, clean drinking water, pollution cleanup, and land and water conservation. And it must deliver overdue justice to the marginalized communities that have been most harmed by pollution. We urge Congress to move swiftly to pass the big, bold, and equitable climate investments needed to meet the moment.”