President Joe Biden returned to Pittsburgh yesterday to announce his plan to renew and revitalize infrastructure and transit across the country.
While the plan focuses on all aspects of American infrastructure, it centers on sustainable improvements and advances green building initiatives that promise a healthier future – many of which Green Building Alliance (GBA) has been working toward for over 28 years.
“This is not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It is a once in a generation investment in America unlike anything we’ve done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago,” Biden said as he unveiled the plan at the Carpenter’s Training Center in Collier Township.
The two trillion-dollar proposal titled “American Jobs Plan” aims to create millions of good jobs, while preparing the country for the economy of the future. An economy that demands sustainability and resiliency. The President said his plan wants to mobilize and unify the country to meet the great challenges of our time, namely climate change.
“The America Jobs Plan will lead to a transformational progress to tackle climate change with American jobs and American ingenuity. Protect our communities from billions in dollars of damage from historic storms, floods wildfires, droughts, year after year,” Biden said.
The plan details the need to shift away from a carbon-based economy, setting funds aside for transforming energy and transportation, while revitalizing manufacturing and addressing long standing and persistent racial injustice.
“Investing in our infrastructure to create healthy, sustainable, and resilient communities, cities, and regions is essential to tackling climate change, improving human health, ensuring social equity, and creating a thriving, innovative economy for all. President Biden’s plan aligns so closely with GBA’s vision and mission, and we strongly support its passing to benefit all Americans,” Jenna Cramer, GBA’s Executive Director said.
Highlights solidify many initiatives that GBA and our members have been working on for decades, including:
- Deliver clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans.
- Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings, modernize our nation’s schools and childcare facilities, and upgrade veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings.
- Revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future.
- Create good jobs electrifying vehicles.
- Redress historic inequities and build the future of transportation infrastructure.
- Safeguard critical infrastructure and services and defend vulnerable communities.
- Maximize the resilience of land and water resources to protect communities and the environment.
- Replace 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.
- Upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, tackle new contaminants, and support clean water infrastructure across rural America.
- Spur jobs modernizing power generation and delivering clean electricity.
- Build next generation industries in distressed communities.
- Produce, preserve, and retrofit more than a million affordable, resilient, accessible, energy efficient, and electrified housing units.
Full details of the plan can be found here.
“You and your family could travel coast to coast without a single tank of gas on board a high-speed train,” Biden said, “Imagine knowing you are handing your children and grandchildren a country that will lead the world in producing clean energy technology.”
It’s no surprise Biden chose to announce the plan in Pittsburgh. Our region and Green Building Alliance’s mission has been leading transformation to a sustainable economy committed to a healthy, high-performing, and resilient built environment that supports all citizens’ quality of life. President Biden recognizes this, specifically pointing out the Pittsburgh Airport’s renovation project which Green Building Alliance staff supported and encouraged them to join the Pittsburgh 2030 District, making it the first airport to commit to the 2030 Challenge goals.
At GBA, we are inspired to see the Biden administration adding so many of our long-term initiatives to the heart of this plan. It is a true testament to the Pittsburgh region’s international leadership in sustainability.
“I’m convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people will look back and say: This was the moment that America won the future,” Biden said.
The plan will soon head to the U.S. Congress and we at GBA encourage its swift and immediate passing.