Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today co-sponsored the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America (LIFT) Act, a comprehensive bill to invest in infrastructure projects across the country, tackle climate change, improve drinking water, expand broadband access and strengthen public health.
The legislation includes an important provision authored by Congressman Sarbanes, the 21st Century Power Grid Act, which would help modernize, strengthen and secure America’s electric grid by increasing its clean energy capacity, shoring up its cyber defenses and improving its resiliency against extreme weather events.
“The challenges that America faces in the 21st century demand bold and meaningful investments in a wide range of sectors, including energy, health care and telecommunications,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “That’s where the LIFT Act comes in. It will deploy targeted and valuable resources to help reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, eradicate toxic chemicals from our drinking water, bring broadband internet to more American homes and upgrade public health services in hospitals and community-based care centers across the country.”
Among its many provisions, the LIFT Act makes critical investments in several areas:
1. Combatting the Climate Crisis
- Over $33 billion for clean energy, including $4 billion to upgrade the U.S. electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy and make it more resilient. It also invests $4 billion in the expansion of renewable energy use, including $2.25 billion for the installation of solar panels in low-income and underserved communities. LIFT America invests $23 billion in energy efficiency efforts – namely retrofitting and weatherizing buildings, including schools and homes, to ensure they produce fewer carbon emissions – and expanding clean energy sources nationwide.
- $2.7 billion to spur the development of Smart Communities, including $850 million in technical assistance to help cities and counties integrate clean energy into their redevelopment efforts, and $1.4 billion to support the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network.
- More than $21 billion to protect Americans’ drinking water, including $2.5 billion to establish a new grant program allowing PFAS-affected communities to filter toxic chemicals out of their water supplies. LIFT America also expands on the 2017 Safe Drinking Water Act by extending and increasing authorization for safe water programs.
- $2.7 billion for Brownfields redevelopment to revitalize communities and create jobs by returning valuable land to productive use.
2. Expanding Access to Broadband Internet
- $40 billion for the deployment of secure and resilient high-speed broadband internet service to expand access for communities nationwide and bring broadband to 98 percent of the country.
- $12 billion in grants for the implementation of Next Generation 9-1-1 services to make 9-1-1 service more accessible, effective and resilient, and enable Americans to send text messages, images or videos to 9-1-1 in times of emergency.
- $5 billion in federal funding for low-interest financing of broadband infrastructure deployment through a new program that would allow eligible entities to apply for secured loans, lines of credit or loan guarantees to finance broadband infrastructure build-out projects.
3. Investing in America’s Health Infrastructure
- $2 billion in funding to reauthorize the Hill-Burton hospital infrastructure program, including targeted assistance to support cybersecurity in the health system.
- $1 billion for Indian Health Service infrastructure projects to reduce health disparities in Indian Country.
- $100 million to support state labs on the frontlines of fighting infectious diseases.
- $100 million to establish a community-based care infrastructure program and to develop teaching health centers and mental health care centers.
- $3.5 billion to improve public health infrastructure at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and at state, local, tribal and territorial health departments.