Reversing Trump’s legacy: The Biden infrastructure proposal

Lily Baker, Contributing Writer

Just two years ago, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the last deals for withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, the pinnacle of international cooperation to combat the existential threat of climate change. Of course, Trump’s own convictions that climate change was “mythical,” “non-existent” and an “expensive hoax” obviously did not align with the mission of the Paris Accord. Trump’s anti-environmental actions and rhetoric have already posed challenges to U.S. President Joe Biden’s pro-environmental agenda; Biden is working to reframe the climate narrative by proclaiming the dangers of environmental neglect and our collective responsibility to it. Fortunately, this added challenge has not stopped Biden from following through with delivering an infrastructure plan which will make the country more resilient to climate change disasters, while also remedying systemic racial inequalities.

Biden’s infrastructure plan will improve the safety and efficiency of America’s infrastructure. According to the New York Times, this plan’s major initiatives are to rebuild 20,000 miles of U.S. roads, repair the 10 most economically significant bridges across the United States and remove lead pipes that many still rely on for water supply; these improvements will also employ millions of people. Moreover, the infrastructure plan will help fight against climate change by implementing cleaner and safer energy sources across the country and modernize electric grids to make them more sufficient and reliable (which is partly an addition responding to the recent Texas blackouts.) By ensuring everyone has safe water sources, this plan will ultimately help fight racial inequality. For example, African Americans and other minority groups live in areas (such as the infamous Flint, Mich.) that are disproportionately affected by unsafe water sources. Updating the water system will ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water.

Biden has certainly faced opposition from this enormous plan. Republicans have raised concerns about the amount of money this plan requires. However, Biden has rebutted concerns by explaining that these goals are a necessary, strong step for the country, and will positively change the country for the better. Additionally, according to the New York Times, the spending required for this plan would cease the decades of stagnation in federal investment in research and infrastructure. Not to mention, the pandemic which has put American jobless and in financially stressful situations would provide an opportunity for many to find employment. In fact, Biden has also considered the ramifications of his plan on the oil, gas and coal industries by proposing a $16 billion program to help fossil fuel workers shift to renewable energy work and eliminate old coal mines.

There is also criticism that this plan requires unfair taxing and many don’t believe it will ever come to fruition. This hesitation coupled with financial concerns have prevented some people from seeing the importance of this plan. Not only does this plan fight climate change, but also works towards fighting racial inequalities. Everyone is entitled to clean, fresh drinking water and minority groups have faced years of unjust environmental racism. Ultimately, these plans will help rebuild America’s economy and fight social issues. While it may be daunting, its intentions demonstrate an immense care for America’s most vulnerable citizens.

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