Statement: It’s finally “Infrastructure Week;” House committee to hold hearing

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

“LIFT America Act” would help protect public health and the environment

U.S. PIRG & Environment America

WASHINGTON — The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is holding a full committee hearing Wednesday on the Leading Infrastructure for Tomrrow’s America Act (“LIFT America Act”). The LIFT America Act would dedicate funds to rebuild and modernize the United States by expanding access to broadband, rehabilitating drinking water infrastructure, modernizing the electric grid and energy supply infrastructure, and protecting public health and the environment.

Last week, Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund released a report urging federal decision-makers to invest in infrastructure projects that address climate change and pollution. The Blueprint for Tomorrow calls for strategic infrastructure investment in five key areas: water, energy, transportation, solid waste and natural infrastructure.

In response to the LIFT America Act, the following Environment America and U.S. PIRG experts issued statements.

John Rumpler, Environment America’s Clean Water Program senior director, said:

“Families across America deserve clean, safe drinking water. But even in 2019, millions of us are still at serious risk from toxic substances such as lead and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) when we turn on the tap. It’s critical that any federal infrastructure package include investments to replace lead-bearing pipes and water fountains at schools and to clean up toxic contamination of our drinking water.

“The LIFT America Act would be a good start toward those goals. It would help get the lead out of drinking water by nearly tripling funding for the State Revolving Fund over the next five years, and would invest half a billion dollars each year in cleanup for drinking water systems contaminated with PFAS.”

Rob Sargent, Environment America’s Energy Program senior director, said:

“Updating America’s infrastructure must be done with an eye toward rapidly moving us away from reliance on dirty fossil fuels and toward a society that avoids wasting energy and meets its energy needs with clean, renewable energy. The LIFT America Act provides a solid foundation for progress by providing much-needed resources for local and state governments to invest in energy conservation and renewable energy.”

Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG’s Transportation Program director, said:

“The LIFT America Act is a good first step, and will help the necessary transition to vehicle electrification.  But it’s missing some critical pieces. To truly move the nation toward a more sustainable, 21st century transportation system, we also have to invest in projects that make public transportation, walking, biking and other low or zero-carbon ways of travel more accessible for more people. We need to give people transportation options other than driving, and not waste money on boondoggles that should be in our rearview mirror.”