The Biden Administration has rolled out its infrastructure bill, dubbed “America’s Jobs Plan.” Thematically, it’s a ‘Go Big or Go Home’ plan, especially when it comes to lowering carbon emissions. The plan earmarks a big chunk of the proposed $2 trillion package for improving the country’s transportation systems, the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change.
An astounding $174 billion would be spent to expand the adoption of electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure necessary to keep them operational. That money also seeks to electrify the government’s fleet of vehicles, such as postal delivery trucks, as well as 20% of America’s school buses.
In a boon for automakers that got ahead of the electric vehicle curve, such as Volvo, the plan calls for the construction of 500,000 charging stations across the nation.
Pasquale Romano, President and CEO of ChargePoint, Volvo’s charging network partner, said in a statement: “ChargePoint appreciates the Administration’s commitment to support the electrification of the transportation sector and is ready to help make this vision a reality. We encourage Congress to pass legislation that supports the proposed plan and includes rebates to businesses that will accelerate the installation of charging infrastructure for multifamily homes and workplaces.”
Electric vehicles are wholly dependent on reliable access to electric power. Therefore, the plan also proposes $100 million in spending to strengthen and modernize America’s vulnerable power grid. As recently illustrated by wind-driven California wildfires and extended Texas cold snaps, the ability to provide consistently reliable power is critical even during extreme weather events.
The White House also calls for energy companies to utilize more renewable resources like wind, solar, and possibly nuclear instead of emissions-heavy coal-fired power plants. Currently, 19% of America’s electricity is generated by coal, making it the third-largest energy source. But coal accounts for 60% of electricity production emissions.
Public transit will receive $85 billion for repairs and to increase service and reach, while $42 billion will fund enhancements to airports, waterways, and ports.
The White House states that America, the wealthiest country in the world, ranks 13th globally when it comes to infrastructure quality, a drop from the fifth-place ranking it held in 2006. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s deteriorating infrastructure a C-. Ranked separately, our roads and highways get a D. Therefore, $115 billion of the bill would rebuild 20,000 miles of highways and reinforce ten big at-risk bridges and 10,000 smaller bridges.
If the America’s Jobs Plan bill becomes law, the White House asserts that it will create millions of jobs. However, the federal government would also return to a rate of infrastructure spending not seen for almost 60 years. To finance the expenditure, corporate tax rate increases and closures of corporate tax loopholes would go into effect over the next 15 years.
While the Biden Administration has the advantage of narrowly holding both legislative chambers, all of these bills, along with the most significant tax increase in decades, must still undergo a lengthy approval process in Congress. However, sources say that the White House would like to make decent progress on certain sections of the legislation by June.