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President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure investment and jobs act

December 9, 2021

President Biden, throughout his presidency, has aimed to reach across the aisle and create bipartisan legislation. His historic infrastructure bill is no different.

According to the White House’s website, the bill aims to do the following.

Deliver clean water to all American households and get rid of lead service lines. Surprisingly, there are still many people in the United States that don’t have access to clean water. In fact, according to Time, more than 30 million Americans lived in areas where water systems violated safety guidelines and rules at the beginning of 2019. There are also 400,000 schools without access to clean water.

Biden’s bill will invest $55 billion towards fighting this problem. 

Deliver high-speed internet to all Americans. It is next to impossible to succeed or even survive in America without access to the internet in today’s America. However, according to Numbeo, the cost of internet in the United States is the 8th highest in the world. 

In cities such as Hopkins and surrounding communities, such access to the internet can be life-changing.

Thus, to ensure everyone has access to opportunities, education, and can work online, the bill invests $65 billion into the high-speed internet project.

Rebuild roads and bridges to mitigate the effects of climate change. A large portion of the roads in the United States, especially those in low-income areas, are falling apart. There are also tens of thousands of bridges that are in poor condition. 

To ensure the safety of all those on the roads and to make sure that the roads and bridges don’t adversely affect wildlife around them, the bill invests $110 billion into the rebuilding.

Improve transportation for millions of Americans and reduce transportation emissions. Currently, public transportation systems in the US are slow, time-taking, and are the number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. To solve these problems, the system must become more equitable, accessible, and generally cleaner – things the bill aims to do.

The $89.9 billion investment will improve general transportation and replace current high-emission vehicles with clean, zero-emission vehicles (especially buses).

Improve current airports and ports to strengthen the supply chain, slow down inflation, and create reliable jobs. The pandemic has shown everyone across the nation that there are significant issues with the supply chain. Products aren’t arriving on time, and due to pandemic restrictions they are being held at sea or aren’t even being shipped anymore.

The bill invests $17 billion into fixing waterways and $25 billion into repairing and maintaining airports, aiming to reduce bottlenecks in the supply chain and to reduce the environmental impact of the current poor supply chain.

Invest in passenger rail. Since Amtrak, the US has yet to put a significant amount of money into passenger rail, something countries like China, Japan, and others are actively doing. The plan aims to reform one of the most used passenger rail corridors, the Northeast Corridor.

The bill puts $66 billion into funding to reduce the Amtrak maintenance backlog, and widen the range of passenger rail service to different parts of the country.

Build a national network of EV charging stations. To fight the climate crisis in the US and further incentivize driving electric vehicles, the bill plans to invest $7.5 billion into building a network of charging stations across the country.

Improve the current power infrastructure to be more reliable and climate-friendly. The White House article reports that $70 billion of the US economy is lost annually due to power outages. On top of that, the country’s power infrastructure (along with those of many other developed countries) promotes wasteful and environmentally damaging practices.

The bill invests $65 billion into this plan.

Strengthen the country’s infrastructure against climate change. Across the country, schools, homes, and businesses get flooded or torn apart by hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis. Last year alone, the cost of all the damages were more than $100 billion.

In places such as the Minneapolis metro area (and similar areas around the country), these weather events adversely affect BIPOC and further perpetuate the cycles of poverty existent in their communities. This is because it either pushes them out of their home communities or it leaves them homeless or living out of a car.

Thus, the bill invests $50 billion to protect against extreme weather and a significant amount goes towards weatherization.

Invest in fighting pollution across the country. The United States is home to many hundreds of thousands of idle or abandoned energy sites, many of which are polluting the country. These energy sites can be mines, oil and gas wells, and Superfund and brownfield sites.

In Minnesota alone, there are 100+ abandoned mines across the Iron Range, which experts say are significant contributors to pollution in the state.

The plan will thus invest $21 billion into the plan, with the aim of improving public health, creating well-paid unionized jobs, and generally remediate environmental harm.

The infrastructure’s goals will only materialize over the next few years and decades, but the overall effect it will have on the United States’ current climate crisis is unknown.

For the state of Minnesota, the bill allocates up to $7 billion.

Much of this money will go towards rebuilding our highways, creating new ones, rebuilding ports across the state, especially in the north, and fighting climate change across the state. 

Thus, for the state of Minnesota and others like it, everybody will benefit in some way. Whether they are a manual laborer in the North or a family in an impoverished part of Minneapolis.

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