Washington, DC – The Bipartisan Policy Center today announced the formation of the Smarter, Cleaner, Faster Infrastructure Task Force. The effort will advocate for the modernization of American infrastructure to support a vibrant, globally competitive economy that creates jobs and achieves net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Members of the task force are former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, former FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, and Bill Truex, Charlotte, FL county commissioner.
In the race to grow the economy, create jobs, and confront climate change, our most limited resource is time. Building smarter, cleaner infrastructure will require moving significantly faster than we have in recent decades. Without a modernized regulatory system, we will not reap the desperately needed near-term economic benefits or deploy new technology in time to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
The recent crisis in Texas and occurrences in other states around the country during the recent ice storm demonstrates the need to quickly advance transportation, water, communications, and energy projects to increase reliability and security, improve affordability and efficiency, connect our communities, reduce emissions, and prioritize frontline communities.
The task force will highlight the economic and environmental benefits of accelerating clean infrastructure for hardworking Americans, and will develop bipartisan proposals to help guide the administration and Congress as they make investments to improve the country’s infrastructure.
“If we want to be able to take care of our environment, we must have a strong economy,” said Santorum. “These goals are connected, and we actually have bipartisan support for both. I’m excited to join this task force to work on modernizing our nation’s infrastructure to encourage economic growth and reduce emissions at the same time.”
“Climate change is the most significant problem of our time and we’ll need massive investments in clean infrastructure projects to reach our goal of net-zero by 2050,” said Delaney. “The good news is this will also be enormously positive for the economy and create millions of good paying jobs across the country. But we can’t wait; we must start building now and build faster than to hit our goals. I know there is bipartisan support for modernizing our approach to infrastructure.”
“Our collective work to ensure safety, affordability, reliability, and sustainability requires a resilient electric grid that connects communities across our nation to energy production and storage,” said Honorable. “In the coming decades, we must modernize the grid to support integration of new resources, greater resilience, and emissions reductions. I know the current process for approving projects is unwieldy and we must find common-sense ways to improve it. I’m delighted to join this bipartisan group to aid in developing solutions. Time is of the essence.”
“We can all agree that modernizing our infrastructure has a strong economic and environmental payoff,” said Jindal. “As a former governor of a coastal state, known as ‘Sportsman’s Paradise,’ I know how important protecting our environment is. The good news is we can have a strong economy, affordable and abundant energy, and a clean environment. I am looking forward to working with this task force to advance bipartisan solutions for improving how the federal government works with states to deliver the benefits of infrastructure more quickly.”
“The climate crisis is the most pressing issue of our time,” said Castro. “Combating it will require, among other things, bold investments in sustainable infrastructure that will create millions of high-wage jobs across the country and help us advance environmental justice. These are investments supported across the political spectrum and are needed now more than ever.”
“Coastal communities are already experiencing the damage rising sea levels can wreak on our neighbors and on our economy,” said Truex. “This isn’t a partisan issue. We have to come together to build an infrastructure system that’s practical in the near-term and resilient over time. We have to break through the partisan gridlock in Washington so our businesses and communities can move forward.”