Audubon is celebrating the collaborative process that is resulting in US Senators finalizing the details of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. This will be a meaningful down payment on the future clean energy and resilience investments our country needs, all while putting Americans to work. In addition to investments in traditional “gray” infrastructure like airports and roads, the framework allocates meaningful spending to programs that would increase climate resilience, reduce emissions, and create a foundation for a cleaner energy future, including:
- $73 billion for upgrades and improvements to the electricity grid, to allow for greater penetration of residential, commercial, and grid-scale renewable energy
- $16 billion for capping orphaned wells and cleaning up abandoned mines, reducing methane emissions and local air and water pollution while restoring landscapes
- $47.2 billion for climate resiliency projects
- $7.5 billion for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
Senator Marco Rubio filed an amendment to fully fund authorized Everglades restoration projects for $5 billion.
"The bipartisan infrastructure bill is an important step towards building a stronger and more resilient Florida, with funding included for transportation, infrastructure, climate, energy, and environmental programs. Congress will continue to work on filling in the gaps via the Reconciliation Bill to invest in natural climate solutions and environmental justice programs that will equitably protect communities across the state and country," said Beth Alvi, Director of Policy.
While the framework does not fund some programs at high enough levels to fully meet the challenges of our changing climate, we hope that critical climate investments will follow the passage of the framework. These could include a Clean Energy Standard, federal incentives for electric vehicles and renewable energy generation, and investments in climate resilience. Meaningful investments in resilience would include restoration and protection of wetlands, barrier islands, and other landscapes that buffer communities and wildlife from the impacts of climate change.