President Biden’s sweeping infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan, takes a broad view of what constitutes infrastructure and tackles many of the issues President Biden highlighted in his campaign, including climate change, the state of the country’s traditional infrastructure, and social inequality. The massive $2 trillion plan creates incentives and opportunities for utilities and other entities in the energy sector to remediate legacy sites and pivot toward a more resilient and greener energy infrastructure.
For years, advocacy groups have been sounding the alarm about the deteriorating state of the nation’s infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ACSE) gave the country a C- in its Report Card. Through a series of proposed congressional acts, administrative rulemakings, and executive orders, President Biden’s plan purports to correct many infrastructure shortcomings identified by the ACSE and other groups.
Improving Grid Resilience and Access
One of President Biden’s primary goals is to increase the resilience of the country’s electric transmission system. The ACSE has warned that severe weather events related to climate change have threatened energy transmission resilience and left many of America’s most vulnerable communities susceptible to outages and unreliable transmission. The infrastructure plan proposes to increase resilience by:
Implementing an investment tax credit to incentivize the construction of at least 20 gigawatts of high-voltage capacity power lines.
Creating a Grid Deployment Authority at the U.S. Department of Energy. Little information has been introduced about the Authority, but the Administration says that it will be used to spur high-voltage transmission line installation through “creative financial tools.”
Laying thousands of miles of transmission lines to provide reliable electricity to rural Americans without reliable electricity and internet.
Expanding high-speed broadband infrastructure to provide 100 percent nationwide coverage.
Investing $45 billion to eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in the nation’s drinking water system.
Fixing aging oil and gas pipes and distribution system to reduce leaks.
Resilience Through Green Technology
As part of the proposal to increase resilience, President Biden’s plan also introduces broad incentives for industry to rebuild the energy grid with greener technologies. The ACSE has advocated for green technologies to enhance the resilience of the nation’s infrastructure. The plan calls for:
Investing in green technologies to improve economic conditions in what the plan refers to as “distressed…