Biden touts infrastructure bill as a response to extreme weather events
At a roundtable with Western states, Biden briefly highlighted how the bipartisan infrastructure proposal could help with prevention and preparation.
As recording-breaking temperatures and the wildfire season roil the Western United States, President Joe Biden touted his bipartisan infrastructure deal as part of the federal government’s remedy for climate relief.
“We also have to make investments in our future," Biden said at a meeting on Wednesday. "That’s why the bipartisan infrastructure framework investment of about $50 billion ... is going to build resilience to extreme weather events like wildfires. $50 billion.”
At the mixed in-person and virtual roundtable hosted by the White House, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and more than a dozen federal officials spoke to Western state Govs. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), Kate Brown (D-Ore.), Spencer Cox (R-Utah), Mark Gordon (R-Wyo.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Steve Sisolak (D-Nev.).
The current heat wave and drought has melted power cables in some parts of the West and caused roads to crack in others, in addition to the health risks the weather poses to children, the elderly and the un-housed populations in the region.
“Investment in prevention and preparation today will bring valuable returns tomorrow,” Biden said.
Biden also called on governors to tell his administration what they needed in order to respond to extreme weather events. He added that there would be coordination among federal, state, local and tribal governments during this year’s wildfire season.
“We gotta make lemonades out of lemons here,” Biden said, at the end of the public portion of the meeting. “We have a chance to do something that not only deals with the problem today, but allows us to be in a position to move forward — and create real good jobs, by the way, generate economic growth.”