Americans agree: Our nation’s infrastructure needs work. This report provides the blueprint that should form the basis of an infrastructure plan that will make America stronger today and lay the foundation for a brighter future.
Americans agree: Our nation's infrastructure needs work. Republicans, Democrats and independents alike all support boosting federal investment in infrastructure.1 A transpartisan effort to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure can help to bring Americans together at a time of increasing polarization and help heal the economic wounds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throwing money at the problem, however, is not the solution. Nor is rebuilding the same old infrastructure in the same old ways. A transformative infrastructure plan for the United States must focus on the nation’s key 21st century priorities and use taxpayer resources wisely. It should focus infrastructure investment in ways that will make us healthier and safer, prioritize infrastructure repair, avoid investing in infrastructure likely to become “stranded assets,” and get the most out of every dollar invested by using our infrastructure efficiently.
Clean energy is sweeping across America and is poised for more dramatic growth in the coming years. Wind and solar energy were just beginning to take off ten years ago; today, they are everyday parts of America’s energy landscape. America produces almost four times as much renewable electricity from the sun and wind as it did in 2010. Today, wind, solar and geothermal power provide nearly 10% of our nation’s electricity.
According to our analysis of violations self-reported by companies to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, industrial facilities released over 174 million pounds of unauthorized air pollution in 2019, an increase of 155 percent since 2015.
COVID-19 shutdowns in the first few months of 2020 caused a severe drop in fuel demand and prices. In order to alleviate the economic burdens placed on the oil and gas industry, the Railroad Commission of Texas passed a temporary exemption in May 2020 that expands the potential options for storing oil underground. The following report explores conventional underground oil storage in salt caverns as well as alternative options and potential risks to human and environmental health. We also provide a summary of the permitting process for storage sites, highlighting periods for public involvement.
Environment Texas Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.