Fresno, CA, Congressman details benefits of infrastructure law


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The infrastructure law recently passed by Congress and signed by President Biden aims to fix water systems in communities like Cantua Creek in western Fresno County.  Water can be used for washing, but not for drinking.

The infrastructure law recently passed by Congress and signed by President Biden aims to fix water systems in communities like Cantua Creek in western Fresno County. Water can be used for washing, but not for drinking.

Bee file photo

When it comes to our infrastructure, I often say that we live off the investments that our parents and grandparents made a generation ago. But right now, with the bipartisan Law on investment in infrastructure and employment, we are entering a new era. The new law will create 2 million jobs per year over a decade and meet critical infrastructure needs.

With funding already deployed and which will continue over five years, the San Joaquin Valley can meet challenges such as drought, wildfires, air quality and improved transportation. This infrastructure investment will make a difference and shows the power of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle working together to get results for Americans.

As our state grapples with a devastating drought, the law prioritizes water resilience. More than $ 1 billion is slated to improve water storage in California, which could benefit extensions to the BF Sisk Dam, Sites Reservoir, Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir. There is also an additional $ 500 million for aging dam repairs, which is significant for the San Luis Reservoir. There are also big investments in drinking water infrastructure, with $ 3.5 billion for drinking water in California. In addition, $ 250 million is given to the state to boost water desalination, a critical innovation needed to increase our supply as California grapples with cycles of drought.

The bipartisan infrastructure law also makes major investments in transportation, critical to keeping the San Joaquin Valley connected to the rest of California and beyond. Nearly $ 9.5 billion will be spent on improving California’s public transportation, including high-speed rail, Amtrak, and ACE Train. More than 25 billion dollars will be devoted to the improvement of the Californian freeways, like the 99 and the 41. More than 1.5 billion dollars are intended for the Californian airports. I was delighted announce this first round of funding just before the holidays, with over $ 9.5 million alone at local Valley airports in the new year, including over $ 4.6 million for the international airport by Fresno Yosemite.

Reducing our carbon footprint is a key element of the infrastructure law. California will receive $ 384 million over five years to support the expansion of an electric vehicle charging network, which could lead more people to buy zero-emission cars. In addition, $ 7.5 billion will be spent on electric and low-emission school buses across the country. These investments will help improve the air quality in the valley.

Prevention of forest fires is necessary to improve the air quality in the valley. We have had two devastating years with major fires like the Creek Fire, Windy Fire and KNP Complex Fire. In the infrastructure act, $ 84 million is coming in to protect California from wildfires. Nationally, $ 5 billion is earmarked for utilities to install fire-resistant technologies.

The COVID pandemic has brought internet access to the fore as online schooling and telecommuting have become essential parts of everyday life. California will receive $ 100 million to help provide statewide broadband coverage.

This investment in our infrastructure benefits our economy, according to a recent analysis by Moody’s Analytics. The analysis found that the legislation lowers business costs, increasing competitiveness and productivity, reducing unemployment and reducing carbon emissions.

What’s more, this investment is paid in full by ensuring that businesses and wealthier Americans pay their fair share, strengthening law enforcement, and using remaining US bailout funds.

As our country continues to recover economically from COVID, a historic investment in our infrastructure, an investment in the quality of life for all Americans, and a commitment to creating reliable, well-paying jobs is one way to ensure a better future. for generations to come.

Jim Costa, D-Fresno, represents much of Fresno County as well as Madera and Merced counties in Congress. Website:

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US Representative Jim Costa, D-Fresno House of Representatives

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