Investing in infrastructure is an opportunity to imagine and build a better future for everyone. The influx of federal dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2022 is a once-in-a-generation chance to imagine what a better future looks like for the United States (and the Southwest) and then to make it real.
New federal funds have enormous potential to save residents and businesses money on energy and transportation, create new jobs and expand prosperity — while also improving our health and protecting our climate. However, how states and local governments choose to implement new policies will have a large effect on their overall impact.
Federal funding can:
- Save people money by reducing consumption of electricity, gas, and liquid fuel; while increasing penetration of renewable electricity and expanding access to regional electricity markets.
- Create green jobs and grow the workforce, with a particular focus on training new workers for forward-looking careers, and helping workers in legacy fields — such as natural gas and petroleum supply and distribution and combustion vehicle maintenance – to transition to new economically sustainable work opportunities.
- Reduce climate-changing pollution in line with greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
- Improve public health by investing in opportunities to cut smog and soot pollution, and by promoting active transportation options like biking and walking.
- Advance equity by targeting programs and investments toward communities that have historically been left behind, or that have been disproportionately burdened with the negative impacts of legacy pollution from industry or highways.
- Do no harm. Finally, the state and local governments should avoid spending money on projects that actively increase pollution, increase or extend reliance on fossil fuels including methane gas, waste money, deepen inequities, or impede a just transition for workers — such as widening a highway through a low-income community.
News, resources, and updates on SWEEP's federal and regional work
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Supporting SWEEP’s work in federal and regional engagements allows us to help communities harness the economic advantages of better energy efficiency and clean transportation programs for cleaner and healthier air, lower energy costs, and protection for our most climate vulnerable citizens.