Sen. Carper looks ahead towards future infrastructure funding pushes
Sen. Tom Carper is promoting funding for infrastructure across the nation, and in Delaware’s own backyard.
Carper met with President Biden this week to discuss infrastructure. As the chair of the Environment and Public Works committee, Carper has an outsized role in influencing movement of infrastructure bills through the Senate.
He says after passing funding for clean water projects across the country, the focus is now bills Democrats and Republicans can agree on.
“The next piece is roads, highways, bridges, service transportation,” Carper said. “That’s about $300 billion. And I think we’re fairly close to agreement with our Republican colleagues in the committee to be able to move that through the committee and to the full Senate, maybe by the end of this month.”
He adds infrastructure funding will go toward projects like the I-95 renovation underway in Wilmington. That project was funded in part with federal infrastructure grants.
Carper notes the most difficult part of Biden’s infrastructure agenda will be climate change and green energy projects which traditionally face GOP opposition.
But, Carper says he’s noticed some Republicans realize extreme weather changes are growing and greater support for green energy among even American car companies, such as General Motors.
He says new roads need to be accompanied by more electric vehicle charging stations.
“We gotta be ready, the way we’re building our roads, highways and bridges to make sure that if people have an electric vehicle or a hydrogen power vehicle, that we have the infrastructure to support those in the future,” he said. “This is not just a road for a couple of years or improvements for the next couple of years — these are improvements for the next 20, 30 years and we have to make sure we get ready for the vehicles of the future too.”
More and more car companies are committing to gas-free vehicle line ups within the next 15 to 20 years.
He says he’s hoping to get enough senators on board to support those projects once the easier pieces of the infrastructure agenda are completed.