“This is the most consequential climate bill ever”
In case you missed it, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper appeared at a virtual Axios event today to discuss the clean energy provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and what it means for Colorado and for the country.
Hickenlooper was part of the bipartisan group of 22 senators who negotiated and wrote the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which is the largest climate change bill to ever become law.
Watch HERE, or see highlights below.
On the overall clean energy provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill:
Hickenlooper: “This is the most consequential climate bill ever. When you look at $73 billion for power and grid, and including all kinds of recharging stations, incentives for electric vehicles — that’s very impactful.”
On climate resiliency:
Hickenlooper: “It’s also got billions of dollars for resiliency. This last summer in Colorado we had washouts in Glenwood Canyon based on the wildfires, that most of the wildfire experts believe is a result of this extreme climate event, and that is a consequence of global warming.”
Hickenlooper: “One of the silver linings of being so far behind in our infrastructure investments as a country is that we have many projects in every state that are ready to go. Right? Shovel ready!”
On wildfire mitigation and drought:
Hickenlooper: “One excellent example [of climate resiliency and mitigation provisions] is mitigation of the risk of wildfire through forest interventions. Once you’ve had a wildfire, going back into that landscape and making sure that you don’t allow the top soil to run into your reservoirs. So this is a big issue around maintaining our water infrastructure, and there’s almost $10 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that is dealing with western water issues, and that’s drought but it’s also the condition and the quality of our water – everything from lead pipes going into people’s homes.”
Hickenlooper: “Methane is a big deal… When we did the regulations on methane back in Colorado in 2013 and 2014… literally no one had regulated methane before. So the fact that a hundred countries agreed that by the end of 2030… by 30%, that’s amazing. In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, there’s specific allocations to cap old oil wells, which are prime sources of methane just leaking into the atmosphere.”
On a price on carbon:
Hickenlooper: “We forget that carbon pollution, nobody pays anything for it now, there’s no cost for industry. Yet we’re seeing every year, the huge cost will be trillions of dollars, along our coasts and in these extreme weather events across the country. The huge cost needs to be accounted for, and I think a price on carbon is going to go a long way in that direction.”
On Build Back Better:
Hickenlooper: “We’re going to look back 50 years from now and say… ‘This was the beginning of the Great Transition.’ I think that the Great Transition is going to have a lot to do with Build Back Better, and the incentives and recharging stations and making sure we take what was in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and really accelerate that transition to electric vehicles to getting off of coal.”