MIL-OSI USA: Pingree Votes to Approve Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Advance Build Back Better Act

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (1st District of Maine)

WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) tonight joined House Democratic colleagues to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and advance the Build Back Better Act, which together will be the most consequential investment in the American people, our environment, and the country’s infrastructure in a generation.

“For far too long, our domestic infrastructure has been ignored – so much so, that the United States shamefully ranks 13th internationally in overall infrastructure quality. What’s worse is that we’re woefully unprepared for extreme conditions caused by climate change. The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act tonight signals an urgent and necessary shift in our plan to tackle the climate crisis and will take critical steps to advance Maine’s Climate Action Plan. By sparking an electric vehicle revolution, reducing traffic congestion, expanding public transit, building affordable, weatherized housing stock, and making our electric grid more resilient, we are addressing climate change head on,” said Pingree of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“I have always felt my job in Congress is to lay the groundwork for the next generation to have a brighter future. That’s why it is especially significant to me that in the same week we welcomed my sixth grandchild, I will vote to advance the landmark Build Back Better Act to ensure all of our kids and grandchildren have greater opportunity and a healthier planet. When Americans voted in 2020 they sent a clear message: they wanted us to help the nation recover from the pandemic and rebuild this country for the next century. I take my colleagues at their word that they will consider this bill urgently and deliver for those who sent us to Washington to represent them,” Pingree said urging swift consideration of the Build Back Better Act.

How the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will benefit Maine:

·       Takes steps to tackle the climate crisis and advance Maine’s Climate Action Plan:

o   Electric Vehicle Charging Network: $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers. Federal funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities. 

o   Electric school buses and ferries: Invests $2.5 billion in zero emission buses and $2.5 billion for low-carbon ferries. 

o   Power infrastructure: Maine needs significant investment in transmission and distribution grid in order to fully integrate renewable energy. $73 billion to upgrade 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. 

·       Clean Drinking water: $55 billion investment, including $15 billion to replace lead service lines and $10 billion to address PFAS chemicals. 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. 

·       Environmental Remediation: 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 $3.5 billion to clean up superfund and brownfield sites, and additional funding to reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells. 

·       Makes the largest federal investment in public transit ever: It will repair and upgrade aging infrastructure, modernize bus and rail fleets, make stations accessible to all users, and bring transit service to new communities. It will replace thousands of transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles. 

·       High Speed Internet: $65 billion investment ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet with an historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment. The bill will also help lower prices for internet service by requiring funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan, by creating price transparency and helping families comparison shop, and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service. It will also help close the digital divide by passing the Digital Equity Act, ending digital redlining, creating a permanent program to help more low-income households access the internet, and establishing a new program to help low-income households obtain the devices required to access the internet. 

·       Ports and Waterways: $17 billion in port infrastructure to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies.

Pingree was recently elected by her caucus to serve as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee where she has made climate change mitigation her top priority. She is also a cosponsor of the Electric Cars Act which would fully extend the electric vehicle tax credit for 10 years and deploy critical charging infrastructure.

Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which appropriated $635 million for the USDA ReConnect Program in FY 2021. She is also a member of the Rural Broadband caucus and has cosponsored many bills to support expansion of rural broadband. 

Click here to read a summary factsheet of the Build Back Better Act.

Click here to read a summary factsheet of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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