WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congressman Andy Levin (D-Mich.), along with Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), in unveiling the BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act. Modeled after the Department of Transportation’s successful BUILD grant program, BUILD GREEN would invest $500 billion over ten years in state, local, and tribal projects to jumpstart the transition to an all-electric public transportation system and help modernize the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
“There’s no question about it: the climate crisis is happening now and we need bold action to address it – and that includes investing in electric transportation and rebuilding our infrastructure,” said Senator Padilla. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act. This critical legislation will not only invest in clean energy and improve transportation, but it will also prioritize projects in underserved communities and create good-paying jobs for the American people.”
“The climate crisis is an existential threat to our planet, but it’s also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create a million good new jobs, and unleash the best of American innovation,” said Senator Warren. “The BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act will make the big federal investments necessary to transform our country’s transportation system, confront the racial and economic inequality embedded in our fossil fuel economy, and achieve the ambitious targets for 100% clean energy in America.”
“Electrifying our cars, buses and trains is a central pillar of the Green New Deal,” said Rep. Levin. “The answer to both the climate crisis and the crisis of wealth inequality is to empower working people with the sustainable investments necessary to rebuild the communities devastated by decades of pollution and corporate trade policy. The BUILD GREEN Act will deliver the transformational change demanded by the American people while ensuring that we build the green economy of the 21st century here at home with good-paying, union jobs.”
“We cannot build back better without building back greener,” said Senator Markey. “The BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act is our opportunity to invest in a clean energy revolution across our country, transform our transportation sector to be climate-smart, and create millions of good-paying union jobs at the same time. We can work together to leverage investment in climate action, reduce emissions, and support environmental justice communities through bold infrastructure projects, all while tackling our climate crisis.”
The BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act would:
- jumpstart the transition to all-electric public transportation, expand clean mass transit to underserved communities, and help modernize our crumbling infrastructure by covering up to 85% of costs for eligible state, local, and tribal projects, with an option for the Secretary of Transportation to cover 100% of costs;
- reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 21.5 million metric tons of CO2annually or the equivalent of taking 4.5 million combustion engine cars off the road;
- prevent an estimated 4,200 deaths and avert $100 billion in health care costs annually by reducing significant sources of ambient air pollution that cause adverse health effects like asthma;
- start to correct decades of health disparities and environmental injustice by dedicating at least 40% of all funding to projects in frontline, vulnerable, and disadvantaged communities; and
- create up to 1 million good new jobs with strong labor protections.
“Greening America’s public transportation infrastructure is a vital component of tackling the climate crisis. These investments will create American jobs, raise American wages, and most importantly, save American lives – both today through improved health and lower air pollution, as well as tomorrow by reducing the odds of climate-change driven catastrophes,” a Data for Progress analysis of the bill reads.
A separate Data for Progress survey of likely voters found 57% support the BUILD GREEN plan.
In addition to Padilla, Warren, Levin, Markey, and Ocasio-Cortez, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and cosponsored in the House by Representatives Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), Brendan F. Boyle (D-Pa.), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Chellie Pingree (D-M.E.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).
The BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act is endorsed by Sunrise Movement, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, 350.org, Greenpeace, Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth, Center for Progressive Reform, GreenLatinos, Rewiring America, New Consensus, Zero Hour (thisiszerohour.org), Data for Progress, WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
Bill text can be found here.
A summary on the bill can be found here.
Data for Progress analysis can be found here.
Data for Progress survey can be found here.