Statement: Congressional committee considers vital climate-friendly LIFT America Act

Important bill would provide infrastructure investments for environment and public health
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON -- The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is holding a full committee hearing Monday on the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow's America Act (LIFT America Act). We thank Chairman Pallone and the 32 members of the committee who introduced this important legislation, which aims to revitalize the country’s energy, water and transportation systems. This goal would be met by making investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and upgrades to our drinking water infrastructure. The act would also expand broadband access nationwide and invest in public health and healthcare infrastructure.

Last week, Environment America and U.S. PIRG delivered a letter signed by more than 360 local officials calling for investments that protect clean water, public health and create a clean energy future. In November 2020, Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund released an infrastructure plan called Blueprint for America. The report focused on infrastructure recommendations that could help our country emerge stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic by improving and protecting public health and our environment.

Experts from Environment America and U.S. PIRG issued the following statements in response to the LIFT America Act:

Johanna Neumann, Environment America’s senior director of the Campaign for 100 Percent Renewable Energy, said:

“Investing in and updating our energy system must be part of building a better American infrastructure. Through these commitments, we can become a society powered by 100 percent clean and renewable energy, which will mean a more resilient and efficient system. The LIFT America Act lays the necessary groundwork through funding that will deliver grid updates to accommodate more energy efficiency upgrades for homes and schools and a greater number of renewable energy projects across the country. Namely, the LIFT America Act allocates $17.5 billion for energy efficiency and conservation block grants, $6.5 billion for home energy efficiency retrofits, and $500 million for energy efficiency grants to public schools. These investments would give America’s clean energy future a big lift.”

Morgan Folger, Environment America’s Destination: Zero Carbon campaign director, said:

“To solve climate change, we need to electrify our cars and buses. Each year, more and more people buy electric cars. Many transit agencies and school districts are also making the shift to clean electric buses. The LIFT America Act will accelerate this welcome transition with electric vehicle charging rebates and funding for electric buses. Local and state officials will be better prepared to serve their communities’ transportation needs with dollars to encourage the use of electric vehicles.” 

John Rumpler, Environment America’s Clean Water Program director, said:

“All Americans deserve clean, safe drinking water. Yet toxic substances, such as lead and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), put millions of Americans at risk whenever we turn on the tap. The LIFT America Act provides crucial resources to help put an end to this contamination -- including funds to replace pipes and school water fountains made with lead.  Any ambitious plan to address our nation’s infrastructure should include these vital drinking water provisions.”

Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG’s Federal Consumer Program senior director, said:

“Consumers shouldn’t be short-changed when it comes to access to essential technology. Whether you live in New York or Nebraska, we all need fast, reliable internet access -- and so do our kids. American politics may be polarized but expanding broadband should be something members of Congress can come together to support. That’s what the LIFT America Act proposes via more than $100 billion in grants and financing for broadband access.”