By: L. Scala
President Joe Biden of the United States has signed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan, effectively creating a law, which he is hailing as a big step forward in his administration's climate and renewable energy objectives.
Biden stated that this plan, "is proof that despite the cynics, Democrats and Republicans can come together and deliver results,”. Hundreds of elected US state and municipal officials, as well as business executives, gathered at the White House for a signing ceremony, in which Biden also claimed: “I truly believe that 50 years from now, historians are going to look back at this moment and say, ‘That is the moment America began to win the competition for the 21st century’,”.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorizes $550 billion in new government expenditure over five years, an increase from current levels. Around $300 billion will be spent on public works projects such as airports, bridges, motorways, drinking and wastewater infrastructure, broadband installation, and remediation of legacy pollutants, (such as coal mines and oil fields). The remaining funds will be used to invest in areas of the economy that Biden believes are crucial to a comprehensive climate solution in the future.
His plan also includes $66 billion for passenger and freight rail and $65 billion for power and electric grid, while also encompassing mineral and supply chain assessments for clean energy technology, carbon capture, and clean energy demonstration projects. Further, it sets $47.2 billion for cybersecurity and climate change mitigation, $39.2 billion for public transit, and $15 billion for clean ferries and school buses, in addition to new electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Within the power and grid sector, the new legislation authorizes the Department of Energy (DoE) to establish a $5 billion grant program to assist actions that mitigate the risk of power system impacts caused by extreme weather, including wildfires and natural disasters.
Overall, the bill was passed in a bipartisan effort, sparking a sign of hope for many Americans who resent the division among the political climate in the United States.