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Pallone Hosts Roundtable on Major Infrastructure Package

May 29, 2019
Press Release
Pallone Has Introduced Bill Aimed at Combating Climate Change, Expanding Broadband Access & Protecting Public Health and the Environment

New Brunswick, N.J. – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) hosted a roundtable with local leaders to discuss the urgent need to pass a broad infrastructure package to combat climate change, expand broadband access and protect public health and the environment. He was joined by local municipal leaders, environmental advocates, and public works experts. 

“Two of my top priorities are strengthening the economy and combating climate change, and one of the best ways for Congress to address both of these priorities now is by rebuilding and modernizing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” Pallone said. “The LIFT America Act that I introduced this month will strengthen our economy for the future by creating good paying jobs and investing in critical clean energy, broadband, drinking water and health care infrastructure.

“Last month, President Trump promised to come up with $2 trillion to fund a massive and necessary infrastructure package, but, true to form, he broke that promise last week. It’s time to end the broken promises because, as we heard today, there’s a real need in New Jersey for legislation that will make important upgrades to our infrastructure. I would like to thank everyone who joined us today to discuss the critical need for this kind of legislation and how it would benefit New Jerseyans.”    

Pallone is the author of the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act, or the LIFT America Act, which rebuilds America through major investments in clean energy, safe drinking water, and environmental revitalization. It provides $33 billion for clean energy, including $4 billion to upgrade the electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy and to make it more resilient, and $4 billion for the expansion of renewable energy use, including the installation of solar panels in low-income and underserved communities. The legislation also invests $23 billion in energy efficiency programs – helping states and communities make public places more energy efficient, and helping homeowners weatherize their homes. The bill also includes $1.5 billion to facilitate the replacement of leaking gas pipelines. 

The LIFT America Act would also allocate more than $21 billion to protect Americans’ drinking water, including $2.5 billion to establish a new grant program allowing PFAS-affected communities to filter the toxic chemicals out of their water supplies. The bill also includes $2.7 billion for Brownfields redevelopment to revitalize communities and create jobs by returning valuable land to productive use.

“Climate change is heightening the need for rapid acceleration of infrastructure investments. This is best illustrated by concerns about water – both quality and quantity,” Governor James Florio said.

“It is imperative that our communities have access to much-needed resources to thoroughly address the growing issues of climate change, public health, clean water access and sustainability,” said City of New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill. “It is our responsibility as government officials to rise to the challenge of these topics, and this smart legislation sponsored by Congressman Pallone will provide the support we need to continue providing quality of life services for all of our residents.” 

“Congressman Pallone’s LIFT America legislation is comprehensive, timely and necessary, and we applaud his leadership in the House Energy & Commerce Committee in seeking to make this welcome investment in our nation,” City of Piscataway Mayor Brian C. Wahler said. “In our Township, we are especially excited about how his bill can help us harness more clean energy to combat climate change and revitalize brownfields to create more economic opportunity for our hard-working residents. We thank Congressman Pallone for continuing to be a wonderful advocate for our community and country.”

“This legislation will be great for Middlesex County, for New Jersey, and for our country. Middlesex County has prioritized protecting our environment and I commend the Congressman for sharing our priorities,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ron Rios said. “The LIFT America Act will take a major step towards fighting the climate crisis, create well-paying jobs, expand broadband access across the Country, and bring vital improvement to our public health infrastructure. It is my hope that Congress acts quickly to pass this legislation, and that the President signs it so that we can all get to work.”

“PRAB is excited by the efforts of Congressman Pallone and the Energy and Commerce Committee to improve quality of life and infrastructure across the country,” said PRAB CEO José Carlos Montes. “We applaud Pallone convening government, industry, and community leaders to discuss and strategize around the LIFT America Act. The bill promises to combat climate change and modernize our nation’s aging infrastructure. In the process, it will bring about jobs of the future and a better future for all residents, both locally and around the country.”

“I would like to thank Congressman Pallone for his leadership in crafting solutions to our country’s infrastructure needs,” Kevin Duncan, President of Middlesex County B&CTC said.

“I strongly support federal investments like what is found in the LIFT America Act, because it will go a long way in fixing our crumbling infrastructure and creating good paying jobs for American workers.”

“We are in a climate crisis and there is a growing sense of urgency. It is not enough to come up with programs or policies for climate change. We need to invest in a green economy to move our country forward. We have to fund programs for energy efficiency, resiliency, and renewable energy projects for solar and wind. We need money towards getting the toxic chemicals out of water and fixing our lead pipes to protect our drinking water. These issues are all connected. They will help promote jobs, grow our economy, while helping protect the health of the people and environment,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Health impacts from climate change like asthma, Lyme disease and lung disease will only get worse, we need change now. We need to put our money where our mouth because programs without funding will never happen.”

“NJHA applauds Chairman Pallone for his leadership on the LIFT America Act. This bill includes substantial investments in healthcare infrastructure that positions New Jersey providers well for the future,” Cathy Bennett, President and CEO of New Jersey Hospital Association said.Enhancing healthcare cybersecurity and expanding telemedicine, in addition to continued smart investments in physical healthcare spaces and the public infrastructure to support those spaces, are essential to supporting the people of New Jersey in the mission to be healthier.”

More information about the LIFT America Act is available here.