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US - Mayors push climate infrastructure action

CITIES TO THE HILL: Over 140 mayors from cities across the country are calling on congressional leadership today to push for aggressive climate measures in their infrastructure legislation that they say will benefit localities.

“The climate and equity crises we face are interrelated and have been compounded by Covid-19, and therefore must be addressed through collaborative, holistic thinking and bold, innovative ideas,” the mayors write. The signatories are members of Climate Mayors, a bipartisan group that formed in 2014 and ballooned following the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

The mayors outlined a host of climate measures, focusing on expanding programs that directly finance cities, promote job quality and help disadvantaged communities. Among the items is at least $4 billion in direct appropriation on top of the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities funding to reduce communities’ risks to natural disasters and hazards and at least $200 million to support community development and implementation of wildfire defense plans — just as wildfires ravage a dozen Western states.

The mayors also push for a total of $45 billion for lead pipe removal and a $100 billion infusion into the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving funds.

Other proposals include the creation of a national climate bank, energy efficient public housing, DOE funding to help state and regional transmission projects, bolstered environmental justice grants and more. And they dedicate a good chunk of their letter to greener transportation, including measuring transit emissions to prioritize lower emitting options and providing grants and tax incentives to expand EV charging infrastructure, particularly in lower-income areas.

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