Commentary: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement praising the American Jobs Plan:
“I am thrilled that President Biden has placed clean energy and bold investments in America’s infrastructure at the forefront of his plan to build back better. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to power our economic recovery and put Americans to work by solving our long-term climate challenge. Too many families in New Mexico are living without internet access, clean water, and reliable electricity. The American Jobs Plan is our opportunity to change that. We will make our grid more reliable and our homes more resilient. We will improve everyone's quality of life and create millions of good paying jobs in our communities.
“Modernizing our infrastructure means preparing for and adapting to the new climate reality. Our surest strategy to move the needle quickly and effectively will be electrifying everything. We need to build charging stations for the growing number of electric vehicles and electric heat pumps for residential heating and commercial buildings. We also need to be ready to handle more extreme weather events by constructing new water infrastructure so everyone has access to clean water, and siting new transmission lines and energy storage systems to make room for more reliable wind and solar generation on our electric grid.
“America employs some of the world’s brightest minds at our research universities, national laboratories, and private companies. We must set them up for success so our country can continue to lead the world in producing new ideas and manufacturing the carbon-free and electrified technologies that will help us solve the climate crisis and thrive in a new economic and energy landscape.
“We can also close the digital divide for New Mexicans living in rural and Tribal communities by investing in universal broadband internet infrastructure. Particularly over this past year, we have seen how the lack of access to broadband internet means less access to critical educational, telehealth, and career-related resources. Building universal high-speed internet access in this century needs to be a mission much like rural electrification was in the last.
“Investing in children and families is truly the greatest investment in our future competitiveness. When we empower our next generation by providing opportunities to learn and thrive, especially without taking on enormous debt, their labor and ingenuity will power our future economic success.
“Now is the time for big and bold investments in our infrastructure, in our people, and in our planet. I am eager to work with President Biden and my colleagues in the Senate to get this ambitious legislation across the finish line.”