Biden expresses transformative vision in ‘Build Back Better’ infrastructure plan

Investments in shovel-worthy infrastructure projects are top priorities for supporting public health, environment
For Immediate Release

Minneapolis, MN -- President Joe Biden will unveil his “Build Back Better” infrastructure package on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, the same Pennsylvania city where he first announced his presidential campaign in 2019. Based on the fact sheet released by the White House on Wednesday morning, his plan focuses infrastructure investments on key measures to improve public health and the environment, including expanding electric transportation, removing lead from drinking water and strengthening our electric grid.

These are among the priorities proposed by our sister organization U.S. PIRG in a report last November. That report laid out a transformative vision for stronger, more sustainable infrastructure that would support public health, the environment and build a future powered by clean energy. Across the political spectrum, the public widely supports investments in our nation’s infrastructure: More than 360 local officials, including 9 from Minnesota, delivered a letter earlier this month to the Biden administration and Congress calling for infrastructure investment.

Environment Minnesota's state director Tim Schaefer said:

“Outdated infrastructure that needs repair, revamping or replacement adversely affects every single American. So much of the United States was built in the 19th and 20th centuries with a lack of knowledge of the environmental and health impacts -- and with fossil fuels in mind. It’s long past time to repair our pothole-stricken roads, revamp our energy production with renewable sources and replace our lead-laden pipes. President Biden’s plan truly will help us ‘Build Back Better."

Environment America’s Clean Water Program Director John Rumpler said:

“Today, President Biden has proposed the single greatest step we’ve seen this century to reverse lead contamination of our drinking water. Because this problem is especially pervasive in schools, we hope at least $1 billion of the plan’s drinking water funding will be used to install filters and replace lead-bearing fountains, faucets and fixtures where our children go to learn and play each day. Moreover, Build Back Better restores our government’s commitment to invest in clean water, with funding that can help end sewage overflows and make our waterways safe for swimming.”

U.S. PIRG’s Director of Environment Campaigns Matt Casale said:

“Climate change is the largest problem facing our nation today and fossil fuel infrastructure is at the heart of the challenge. Today, President Biden proposed a plan that recognizes the need to zero out carbon emissions and implement common sense solutions that will end our reliance on fossil fuel infrastructure and help preserve a livable planet for generations to come. By eliminating tax preferences for the fossil fuel industry, we can stop using our tax dollars to fuel the climate crisis and free up around $20 billion a year that can be spent on more pressing climate investment priorities.”