Rebuilding our infrasturcture and bonus: You help the environment.
There are a lot of solid reasons to demand Washington pass a long-term (and substantial) infrastructure funding bill. Among them:
- We’ve let it go for so long that it’s affecting American business competitiveness.
- A bill with some meat on it will put a lot of Americans back to work.
- Our danged roads are crumbling and our bridges are falling down.
But … if that’s not reason enough, we’ve got another one for you: doing so is good for the environment, as well.
A study released today by the Blue Green Alliance (BGA) takes a hard look the annual infrastructure report card released by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). You might have heard of it; it regularly points out how terrible our country’s public infrastructure is getting. Well, BGA’s study takes ASCE’s grade (a “D+”), imagines what it would take to get the United States up to “B” grade over the coming decade, and then extrapolates the benefits.
Yeah, doing so would create some solid employment benefits. But it would make our country a lot cleaner and greener, too. From the BGA report, gaining that “B” grade would:
- Save nearly 5.7 billion gallons of fuel and avert the carbon dioxide equivalent of 48 million metric tons per year over the next decade by supporting the current trajectory of transit ridership.
- Reduce pollution by an equivalent of 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide for each 5 percent reduction in leaks from drinking water systems.
- Help reduce power plant emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels over the next three decades by investing in more efficient power plants and the electrical grid; and
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 million tons of carbon dioxide —equivalent to the carbon pollution emissions of six million U.S. households — for each 5 percent reduction in the amount of solid waste Americans generate.