Chair Castor Votes To Pass Infrastructure Bill, Calls For Further Action On Climate

Nov 6, 2021
Press Release
'It’s Time To Finish The Job By Passing The Build Back Better Act'

WASHINGTON - Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted on Friday to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and to advance the Build Back Better Act:

“With this vote, the House of Representatives has delivered a historic investment in America’s infrastructure,” said Rep. Castor. “This bipartisan bill makes progress on recommendations in our Climate Crisis Action Plan and takes steps to strengthen the grid, support electric vehicles, advance environmental justice, and prepare communities for costly weather disasters. Now it’s time to finish the job by passing the Build Back Better Act.

“As this year’s relentless climate disasters have proven, we are in a ‘code red’ moment that requires us to act urgently and ambitiously to solve the climate crisis. That’s why this bipartisan legislation is matched with the generational investments in the Build Back Better Act, which will help unleash our clean energy economy and protect vulnerable Americans who are suffering the consequences of inaction. 

“This is it – this is our moment. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver on President Biden’s agenda to create millions of good-paying union jobs, to build resilience across America, and to protect future generations from the growing costs and risks of the climate crisis. Inaction is not an option. I’m ready to keep up the fight to help President Biden deliver this vision – for my daughters, for our economy, and for generations to come.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act advances a number of priorities in the Select Committee’s Climate Crisis Action Plan, including:

  • New investments in Electric Grid Resilience and Expansion, including grid hardening ($5 billion), grid reliability and resilience research, development, and demonstration ($5 billion), a revolving loan fund to facilitate the construction of transmission lines ($2.5 billion), and the deployment of technologies to enhance grid flexibility ($3 billion). The IIJA also improves inter-state transmission siting so more Americans can access clean energy, creates a new Grid Deployment Authority to help build a resilient and clean electric grid, and increases the borrowing authority of the Bonneville Power Administration by $10 billion which could help build new transmission lines.
  • Historic investments in Transportation Infrastructure, including rail ($66 billion), transit ($39 billion), and a carbon reduction program to reduce transportation emissions ($6.4 billion).
  • Investing in our Children, including $7.5 billion for clean school buses and ferries, grants for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean vehicles at public schools ($500 million), and historic investments in broadband ($65 billion).
  • Investments in Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities, including historic funding for cleaning up legacy pollution ($21 billion), funding for Tribal Climate Resilience ($216 million), and a $1 billion program to reconnect EJ communities divided by highways.
  • Doubling down on Electric Vehicles (EV), including the largest Federal investment ever in EV charging ($7.5 billion), funding for the Low or No Emission Vehicle (“Low-No Bus”) program ($5.25 billion), and support for developing a U.S. battery processing industry and EV battery recycling ($6.3 billion). The IIJA also requires states to consider establishing rates that promote transportation electrification and affordable and equitable EV charging.
  • Reducing Emissions through Energy Efficiency, including by renewing the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) ($550 million), funding an energy efficiency revolving loan fund within the State Energy Program ($250 million), funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) to support implementation of updated building energy codes ($225 million), and enhanced funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program ($3.5 billion). The IIJA also requires states to consider promoting demand response to reduce electricity consumption during peak times.
  • Resilience to Climate-Fueled Disasters, including enhanced funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) coastal resilience programs ($1.5 billion), funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program ($1 billion), $3.5 billion for FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance, and $17 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers including funding for ecosystem restoration and coastal resilience.
  • Reducing Wildfire Risk, including funding for hazardous fuels reduction, controlled burning, and community defense resources ($3.3 billion), ecosystem restoration on public and private lands ($2 billion), and burying power lines and building microgrids ($5 billion).
  • Critical Water Infrastructure investments, including funding for water storage, recycling, and desalination ($2.5 billion), environmental programs for Western water ($980 million), and funding for the Twenty-First Century Dams Act ($2.5 billion).
  • Clean Drinking Water for All, including the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, including $23.4 billion for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), $15 billion to replace lead service lines, $10 billion to address dangerous PFAS chemicals, and $3.5 billion for Indian Health Service water and sewer infrastructure and resilience.




117th Congress