“Infrastructure Week” coverage: Resources and interview opportunities

For Immediate Release

Yet another “Infrastructure Week” begins Monday. The phrase has become a much-maligned moniker during the Trump presidency -- featuring plenty of rhetoric but very little in the way of tangible action to rebuild America’s crumbling and outdated infrastructure. The odds might still be long that Congress can agree on a large package, but this week has the potential to signal a sea change in federal infrastructure policy.

House Democrats introduced the “Moving Forward Act” last week, a sweeping $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that, while not perfect, would rebuild and modernize the United States with an eye toward protecting public health and the environment. Specifically, the bill invests in cleaner and alternative transportation systems, drinking water infrastructure, and a more efficient and renewable electric grid. Debate on the bill is scheduled to begin on June 30.

In advance of Infrastructure Week, The Public Interest Network (which includes U.S. PIRG, Environment America, and state groups) is sharing information to help contextualize the various aspects of infrastructure spending included in the package, and how each will impact public health, the environment and climate.
Recent reports on infrastructure and related issues from Environment America, U.S. PIRG and our think tank Frontier Group:

Report: Blueprint for Tomorrow

Report: Highway Boondoggles

Report: Destination Zero Carbon

Report: Get the Lead Out

Report: Renewables on the Rise

Report: Electric Buses in America

Report: The State of Recycling

The following experts are available to interview either over the phone or on camera:

Transportation

Matt Casale, mcasale@pirg.org, runs U.S. PIRG’s Transportation program. Whether it’s stopping “highway boondoggles,” ramping up public transit and alternative modes of transportation, or transitioning school districts’ bus fleets from diesel to electric, the program aims to transform how Americans get from Point A to Point B. Matt is also lead on much of PIRG’s infrastructure work, and has co-authored research reports on the subject, including the Blueprint for Tomorrow. He has been interviewed and quoted by several major national media outlets, including The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, The Boston Globe, and Citylab.

Morgan Folger, mfolger@environmentamerica.org, runs Environment America’s Clean Cars Campaign, which aims to reduce emissions from America’s top contributor to the climate crisis: the transportation sector. Morgan works to generate support for policies nationally and in states across the country that electrify cars, electrify buses, and reduce the need to drive. She co-authored recent reports on decarbonizing the transportation sector and air pollution, and has been interviewed and quoted by several major national media outlets, including Popular Science and Smart Cities Dive, and recently published an opinion piece in CNN on clean car rules.

Clean water

John Rumpler, jrumpler@environmentamerica.org, directs Environment America’s Clean Water program, including water infrastructure policy initiatives. In February, John testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the urgent need to invest in water infrastructure. He also co-authored two research reports related to water infrastructure issues last year: Get the Lead Out and Safe for Swimming? He’s appeared on camera for CBS This Morning, among other outlets, and has been interviewed by such outlets as U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg and WebMD.

The climate crisis

Andrea McGimsey, amcgimsey@environmentamerica.org, is the senior director of global warming solutions for Environment America. She directs our work to go fossil fuel free, promote carbon-free transportation, reduce power plant pollution, and more. As a local elected official in Virginia, she worked on climate-friendly infrastructure, so her constituents could choose to walk, bike, or take mass transit. She has co-authored several research reports, including Climate Solutions from Day One and From Pollution to Solutions. Her current efforts include defending the Clean Air Act and building bipartisan support for climate legislation in Congress. Andrea has appeared on camera for CBS News and other outlets. Her opinions have been published recently in The Hill and The New York Times.    

Clean energy

Johanna Neumann, johanna@environmentamerica.org, is the senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy at the local, state and national level. Her team has long advocated for improving our homes and businesses to use energy more wisely, promote community solar projects and just launched a new initiative to make every new home a solar home. Johanna has appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball and been quoted in the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. 

Zero waste

Alex Truelove, atruelove@pirg.org, directs U.S. PIRG’s Zero Waste Program, which aims to reduce waste and build more effective recycling and composting systems to improve public health, protect the environment and conserve resources. Alex has contributed to a number of reports on recycling and composting infrastructure and has been recently featured by The Hill and Waste Dive.

Infrastructure policy

Tony Dutzik, tony@frontiergroup.org, is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group, a research and public policy organization, and has co-authored or supervised the production of numerous reports on infrastructure policy, including reports on infrastructure finance (Who Pays for Roads?, Private Roads, Public Costs), future infrastructure needs (A New Direction), zero-carbon transportation (A New Way Forward), and electric vehicle charging (Plugging In). A former journalist, Tony has been featured in reports by such media outlets as The New York Times, Financial Times and The Economist.

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The Public Interest Network runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.

Environment America is the national federation of statewide, citizen-based advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.

U.S. PIRG is the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations that stand up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.

Frontier Group is a think tank that provides information and ideas to help build a cleaner, healthier and more democratic America.