The bipartisan infrastructure law will help us rebuild and repair America’s rapidly deteriorating roads, bridges, and highways, including $47.5 million in funds to support local public transit systems across Maine including buses, rail lines, and ferries. It will also enable states to expand broadband networks, fix up aging water systems to ensure access to clean water, and build out the necessary infrastructure to support the continued adoption of electric vehicles that will help lower emissions.
While $31 million will be for supporting Maine weatherization projects for lower-income families to help them make the move to more energy-efficient resources, lowering both heating and electric costs.
The demand for critical minerals, including silver, zinc, and lead, has increased in recent years as the push for clean energy technologies like solar and wind, which rely on these raw materials, continue to expand.
While the new infrastructure law invests in critical minerals, mining and recycling research, thereby bolstering clean energy technologies. The single best way to usher in this transition is to put a price on carbon.
Pricing carbon would hold fossil fuel producers accountable by charging a fee on every ton of climate-changing CO2 they produce. Various policies have been proposed about how to use the money collected including subsidizing clean energy or simply returning it to consumers to offset energy costs.
These efforts to bolster Maine’s economy and our environmental outlook would be seriously accelerated by pricing carbon too. Senator Collins and Senator King should be applauded for their work on infrastructure.
Kevin C. Hughes Cumberland