The time is now to Build Maryland Back Better
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement.
In 2021, Maryland received a lackluster “C” grade, and the country’s infrastructure as a whole fared even worse, earning a “C-“ grade. The Biden Administration’s Build Back Better framework would make an historic investment in addressing the nation’s significant infrastructure challenges and help to raise our grade.
This legislation will mobilize the country to address the climate crisis and long-standing and persistent racial injustice. The plan targets 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities. And the plan also invests in rural communities and communities impacted by the market-based transition to clean energy.
Here is just a sampling of key areas where the plan has the potential to deliver big for Maryland:
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Maryland suffers from some of the worst public transit in the nation. Marylanders who take public transportation spend an extra 66.3% of their time commuting than those in cars and people of color are 2.7 times more likely to commute via public transportation.
RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Maryland has experienced 31 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages. The President is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster. The plan will upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems with a focus on green infrastructure and using nature and nature based systems. It will invest in rural small water systems, household wells, and wastewater systems, including drainage fields.
DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Maryland’s drinking water infrastructure will require $9.3 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion national investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities. The plan will replace 100% of lead pipes and service lines. President Biden’s plan also provides $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) nationwide.
HOME ENERGY: In Maryland, an average low-income family spends 6-8% of their income on home energy costs (compared to the average Maryland family spending 1.8% of income). The AJP will upgrade low-income homes to make them more energy efficient, saving homeowners money.
ACCELERATE CHESAPEAKE BAY RESTORATION: A key component of this plan is to protect and, where necessary, restore nature-based infrastructure – our lands, forests, wetlands, watersheds, and coastal and ocean resources. There are over $1 billion in shovel ready projects in Maryland that could be financed through Clean Water State Revolving Funds with help from the American Jobs Plan.
GREEN JOBS: The plan will create a New Civilian Climate Corps. This $10 billion investment nationwide will put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, and advancing environmental justice.
The plan also promises significant upgrades for Maryland and other states in broadband access, manufacturing, clean energy jobs, home energy upgrades, and childcare assistance. You can find an updated comprehensive fact sheet on the plan’s benefits for Maryland here.
At Maryland LCV, we are committed to creatively and aggressively protecting the state’s land, air, water, and communities, and especially meeting the challenges of the climate crisis. We can’t reach those goals unless Maryland’s infrastructure is improved dramatically in a way that meets the needs of all our residents. The American Jobs Plan’s focus on climate, jobs, and justice positions it as a bold and much-needed investment in Maryland and the country.
Download our Maryland factsheet on Build Back Better here.
And check out the recent polling on what Marylanders think:
- 83% of voters across the state support the American Jobs Plan and Build Back Better
- 83% think it’s important that Congress takes action to address climate change
- 85% support investments in clean energy jobs
- 78% support ensuring the benefits of climate and clean energy investments go to the environmental justice communities long exploited by polluters.
On June 22, 2021 we held a Town Hall with Senator Chris Van Hollen and on July 13 we held another Town Hall with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer with over 100 Marylanders at each event to talk about the American Jobs Plan and how it will affect Maryland. Watch the recordings here.