House Shows How Future-Focused Infrastructure Solutions Can Create Good Jobs, Boost Resilience, Revitalize Frontline Communities, Restore Natural Resources, Reduce Pollution

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Wildlife Federation heralded today’s passage of the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2) by the U.S. House of Representatives and urged the Senate to follow suit. The legislation will put millions of people back to work, increase community resilience and reduce pollution through critical investments in natural infrastructure for resilience and wildlife, clean energy and transportation, environmental justice, clean water and ecosystem restoration.
“For too long infrastructure has been a running joke in Washington, but with an economy in free fall, 40 million Americans unemployed, our global competitiveness challenged and our climate in crisis, it’s just not funny anymore. We can no longer fail to act. We need big solutions — like the Moving Forward Act — that will help jumpstart our economy, modernize our crumbling infrastructure and confront our greatest challenges, including climate change. This future-focused legislation will create millions of jobs through traditional and natural infrastructure projects that will bolster community resilience, reduce climate pollution, revitalize frontline communities, restore degraded lands and waters and help recover at-risk wildlife populations,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are grateful for the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, Chairman DeFazio and their colleagues for passing H.R. 2 and urge the Senate to come to the table with their work on surface transportation and water infrastructure to negotiate a comprehensive infrastructure deal.”
The National Wildlife Federation has been an unwavering advocate for infrastructure solutions that support America’s workers, invest in communities that have powered the nation for generations, address the climate crisis, protect clean water and help at-risk species. The Federation has worked with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Congressman Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) and others to ensure the Moving Forward Act included support for natural infrastructure projects that recover populations of at-risk fish, wildlife and plant species, wildlife crossings and corridors, investments in clean energy, emissions-reducing transportation infrastructure and water infrastructure and community resilience projects. 
The National Wildlife Federation heralded the bill for its inclusion of a range of critical titles and provisions, including:

  • Funding wildlife conservation efforts aimed at helping the 12,000 species of concern identified by the state wildlife agencies, including more than 1,600 U.S. species listed under the Endangered Species Act. This language is derived from the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which has more than 180 cosponsors.
  • Providing $300 million to support the development of wildlife crossings — focusing on projects that will improve transportation safety, including on high-risk rural roads, on federal lands and at vehicle-wildlife crossings.
  • Investing in the restoration and maintenance of wildlife corridors to maintain wildlife movements across public, private and tribal lands.
  • Including the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which will refurbish and modernize schools in urban and rural areas and on tribal lands.
  • Extending the clean energy investment and production tax credits, which allows energy producers to claim a credit based on electricity produced from renewable energy resources, with new provisions for offshore wind and energy storage, and added incentives for adoption of labor standards.
  • Investing in clean transportation, including mass transit, zero-emission buses and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as a new requirement that the Department of Transportation create a program to work with states on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Investing $6.25 billion in pre-disaster mitigation programs to increase the resilience of our nation’s transportation infrastructure, including through the use of protective natural infrastructure.
  • Increasing funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to $8 billion annually, which will better enable states to address their significant water infrastructure improvement needs and target assistance to historically underserved communities.
  • Authorizing a $3 billion NOAA coastal resiliency fund to advance coastal restoration projects that restore habitat for fish and wildlife or improve climate adaptation, prioritizing projects that stimulate the economy, create jobs for fishermen or are located in under-resourced communities.
  • Including the RECLAIM Act and authorizing the use of $1 billion over five years in un-obligated money from the Abandoned Mine Land fund for distribution to states and tribes to accelerate the cleanup of abandoned coal mine sites that have been identified by states, tribes and local communities.
  • Reauthorizing the Abandoned Mine Land program for coal mines, which is expiring at the end of September 2021, for 15 years; increases the minimum amount of money that each state or tribe receives annually from $3 million to $5 million; and allows states to spend funds directly for abandoned mine related emergencies and then get reimbursed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
  • Creating a capped refundable competitive credit of $1 billion for each year from 2021 through and including 2025 to institutions of higher education for environmental justice programs.
  • Adding a definition of PFAS in and establishes a program under the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide assistance to water utilities to pay for costs associated with treatment for PFAS.

    The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has passed a bipartisan transportation reauthorization bill with many of the same priorities, but it has yet to be brought to the full Senate for consideration.

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