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How Much Will Infrastructure Bill Benefit Texans?


Monday, August 16, 2021   

DALLAS, Texas - As the largest investment in the country's infrastructure inches forward, Texas stands to benefit considerably from new jobs and clean-energy initiatives that could grow local economies.

According to the Biden administration, there are more than 19,000 miles of highway in poor condition in the Lone Star State. In addition, commute times have increased by 11% in the past decade, with each driver paying approximately $700 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair.

Colin Leyden, Texas political director at the Environmental Defense Fund, said attention to overdue infrastructure needs will improve quality of life for Texas residents.

"Replacing lead pipes, some money for electric vehicle infrastructure," said Leyden. "These are all infrastructure investments that really are going to benefit Texas and put us on a path towards a clean-energy economy."

According to the White House, a quarter million Texans were working in clean energy as of 2019.

Following passage of the infrastructure bill in the Senate last week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg toured a modernization project at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The House of Representatives is now considering the massive infrastructure bill.

Some Texans still are recovering from the power grid outage last April, which Leyden said must be improved for resiliency and efficiency.

At the same time, he said Texas leads the nation in wind energy and expects major growth in solar energy while the electric automaker, Tesla continues building a $1 billion manufacturing facility near Austin.

"We need to make sure that the electric vehicles that we are going to be building here can actually be charged," said Leyden. "So we need charging infrastructure, and all of this is vital to Texas and will help solve some of the problems that we're encountering right now with our electric grid."

Based on a White House infrastructure funding formula, Texas stands to gain nearly $27 billion for highway projects, more than $3 billion for public transportation, $537 million for bridges and at least $100 million for broadband coverage.

Disclosure: Environmental Defense Action Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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