ICYMI: Reps. Price and Lowenthal Lead Effort to Promote Sustainability in Infrastructure
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 13, 2018) – Yesterday, the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) released its Sustainable Infrastructure Proposal, led by Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). The document serves as a blueprint for smart, environmentally sustainable infrastructure investment. The proposal stands in stark contrast to the recently released Trump Administration infrastructure plan that eviscerates core environmental safeguards, fails to meaningfully incorporate forward-looking sustainability and resiliency initiatives, and falls far short of the robust direct federal investment necessary to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. The vast majority of Americans know that we can build and modernize infrastructure while keeping environment and public health protections in place. They expect us to do both, and that is what SEEC’s proposal is all about.
“Our nation is in desperate need of comprehensive investment in infrastructure to modernize our roads, bridges, railways, transit systems, housing stock, and broadband networks” said Congressman Price (D-NC), Ranking Member on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. “But ignoring common sense recommendations to improve resiliency and sustainability in our infrastructure systems only serves to expose these assets to future failure and ignores the threat that climate change poses to America’s communities. The SEEC Infrastructure Principles offer concrete policy proposals that bolster our infrastructure against future threats, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, preserve core environmental safeguards, and encourage federal investment in projects that will lead to good-paying jobs now and in the future.”
“Sustainability should be integrated into all of our infrastructure projects,” said Congressman Lowenthal (D-CA), Member on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “Unfortunately the Trump Administration’s infrastructure proposal is heavy on environmental rollbacks that limit public input and weaken protections for our families and environment. This SEEC infrastructure proposal instead charts a fresh vision of smart, sustainable investments that will promote the well-being of all Americans, including healthier, safer communities and environments. When done right, infrastructure investment can promote commerce, sustain good jobs, and protect our environment. The Administration presents a false choice.”
“SEEC’s proposal takes on today’s infrastructure challenges in a sustainable, forward-thinking way. Contrary to what President Trump keeps saying, our environmental protections aren’t slowing infrastructure down—the real problem is a lack of funding,” said SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Paul Tonko, Gerry Connolly and Doris Matsui. “We are wasting our time and money if we don’t have an infrastructure plan that addresses the need for resilient infrastructure that can stand up to climate change and meaningful federal investment that can help get these projects to completion.”
The SEEC document begins with a statement of principles, laying out a broad outline for what “sustainable infrastructure” entails, and then presents a series of brief policy documents that contain specific proposals for multiple categories of physical infrastructure. The document should serve as a model for sustainable principles to be included in any infrastructure package that is considered by Congress.
The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) is a coalition of 55 members of the U.S. House of Representatives that was founded in January 2009 to be a focused, active, and effective coalition for advancing “policies that promote clean energy technology innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, and create green collar jobs throughout the product supply-chain, and polices to help arrest global warming and protect our nation’s clean air, water and natural environment.”
SEEC is Co-Chaired by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Doris Matsui (D-CA).
SEEC Vice-Chairs are Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), and Mike Quigley (D-IL).