Dec 7, 2021 - Axios Events

Granholm: Infrastructure bill will help U.S. compete globally

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) during an Axios virtual event Tuesday sold the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill as a job creator that will bolster climate change resiliency, while making the U.S. more competitive on the global market.

Driving the news: The package's passage in November marked a victory for the Biden administration. It includes measures for investments for roads, bridges, waterways, among other items.

  • "People forget. I mean, already forget, that this is the most consequential climate bill ever," Hickenlooper told Axios.

What they're saying: Granholm, who has been traveling across the Northeast touting the benefits of the law, said she personally saw how it is being put to use at a new offshore wind site in Rhode Island.

  • "[T]hese turbines are so massive that they have to be built on site ... It means creating a whole industrial sector around the building of offshore wind turbines."

Hickenlooper said the bill will help boost climate resiliency efforts for extreme weather events in his home state of Colorado.

  • "There's almost $10 billion of money in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that is dealing with Western water issues," Hickenlooper said. "And that's drought, but it's also the condition and the quality of our water. I mean, everything from lead pipes going into people's homes and forest mitigation."

Granholm said the bill's investment in supply chains will boost U.S. competitiveness, citing battery packs as an example.

  • "The build back of that supply chain will make us both competitive and put people to work so that part of the president's agenda, he's tired of stuff being stamped made in other countries," Granholm said.

The bottom line: "One of the silver linings to being so far behind in our infrastructure investments as a country is that we have many projects in every state that are ready to go right, shovel ready," Hickenlooper said.

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