WASHINGTON, D.C. — The eight-year, $2.3 trillion jobs, infrastructure and green energy plan introduced by President Biden is being touted as a path to bolstering the economy and addressing problems such as broadband access, climate change, and the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and water systems.
The independent, nonpartisan Consumer Reports has looked at key elements of the proposal, which the White House calls the American Jobs Plan.
CR said the proposal has some initiatives long advocated by the nonprofit organization to promote consumer safety, sustainability, and greater access to essential services:
Safe Drinking Water: CR said the plan’s investment into clean, safe drinking water is especially relevant in light of CR’s investigation that found widespread contamination of tap water across the country with PFAS, lead and arsenic. The plan would help replace aging water pipes and deploy existing technology to remove dangerous contaminants and improve the water infrastructure.
Broadband: A proposed multi-billion dollar investment in broadband internet access is critical to ensuring that more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, have a connection to high-speed internet. As millions of Americans have shifted to working, learning, and receiving medical care at home over the past 12 months, it is more apparent than ever that a reliable, affordable internet connection with clear and transparent pricing is a necessity for U.S. consumers.
Transportation Safety: The proposal includes $20 billion to improve safety for everyone who uses our roads. Crucially, this funding would include a focus on advancing economic fairness and racial equity—including through roadway improvements to reduce pedestrian deaths, which disproportionately burden Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities. In addition, greater resources for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would help ensure the agency establishes safeguards for driver-assist and automated vehicle systems, as well as performance standards requiring all new cars and trucks to come standard with proven advanced safety systems—a step that alone could prevent about half of the more than 36,000 road deaths that happen each year, according to a 2020 CR study.
Clean Cars: The proposed $174 billion investment to accelerate electrification of the transportation sector will help make it easier for all Americans to be able to afford vehicles that are cleaner, quieter, and cost less to operate and maintain, while reducing harmful emissions that disproportionately affect low income communities of color.