Oct 11, 2021
Jen has been all over the internet lately telling the world that
the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework is a dumpster fire of a
bill. In this episode, she backs that up by comparing the levels of
investment for different kinds of infrastructure and examining the
society changing effects the bill would have if it were to become
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Recommended Articles and Documents
Benjamin J. Hulac and Joseph Morton. October 7, 2021.
“With GOP sidelined, Manchin steps up to defend fossil fuels.”
Connor Sheets, Robert J. Lopez, Rosanna Xia, and Adam Elmahrek.
October 4, 2021.
“Before O.C. oil spill, platform owner faced bankruptcy, history of
regulatory problems.” The Los
Donald Shaw. October 4, 2021.
“Criticizing Joe Manchin’s Coal Conflicts is ‘Outrageous,’ Says
Michael Gold. October 1, 2021.
“Congestion Pricing Is Coming to New York. Everyone Has an
Opinion.” The New York
Utilities Middle East Staff. September 13, 2021.
“World’s largest carbon capture and storage plant launched.”
Adele Peters. September 8, 2021.
“The first commercial carbon removal plant just opened in
Hiroko Tabuchi. August 16, 2021.
“For Many, Hydrogen Is the Fuel of the Future. New Research Raises
Doubts.” The New York
Robert W. Haworth and Mark Z. Jacobson. August 12, 2021.
“How green is blue hydrogen?.”
Energy Science & Engineering.
Emily Cochrane. August 10, 2021.
“Senate Passes $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, Handing Biden a
Bipartisan Win.” The New York
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. June 3, 2021.
“2020 Fatality Data Show Increased Traffic Fatalities During
Pandemic.” U.S. Department of Transportation.
Nation Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). May 19, 2021.
“What We Know—and Do Not Know—About Achieving a National-Scale 100%
Renewable Electric Grid .”
Michael Barnard. May 3, 2021.
“Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Are Mostly Bad Policy.”
Hiroko Tabuchi. April 24, 2021.
“Halting the Vast Release of Methane Is Critical for Climate, U.N.
Says.” The New York
Grist Creative. April 15, 2021.
“How direct air capture works (and why it’s important)”
American Society of Civil Engineers. 2021. “Bridges.”
Card for America’s Infrastructure.
“Sen. Joe Manchin - West Virginia - Top Industries Contributing
Savannah Keaton. December 30, 2020.
“Can Fuel Cell Vehicles Explode Like ‘Hydrogen Bombs on
Dale K. DuPont. August 6, 2020.
“First all-electric ferry in U.S. reaches milestone.” WorkBoat.
Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser. 2020. “CO2 and Greenhouse Gas
Emissions.” Our World in
Jeff Butler. January 27, 2019. “Norway
leads an electric ferry revolution.” plugboats.com
Our World in Data.
Annual CO2 Emissions, 2019.
Hydrogen Council. 2019. Frequently Asked
Mark Z. Jacobson et al. September 6, 2017. “100%
Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy
Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World.” Joule.
Kendra Pierre-Louis. August 25, 2017.
“Almost every country in the world can power itself with renewable
Chuck Squatriglia. May 12, 2008. “Hydrogen Cars Won't
Make a Difference for 40 Years.” Wired.
Renewable Energy World. April 22, 2004.
“Schwarzenegger Unveils ‘Hydrogen Highways’ Plan.”
United States Department of Energy. February 2002. A
National Vision of America’s Transition to a Hydrogen Economy -- to
2030 and Beyond.
August 10, 2021 Senate Vote Breakdown
July 1, 2021 House
Jen's Highlighted Version
DIVISION A: SURFACE TRANSPORTATION
TITLE I - FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS
Subtitle A - Authorizations and Programs
Sec. 11101: Authorization of Appropriations
- Authorizes appropriations for Federal-Aid for highways at
between $52 billion and $56 billion per year through fiscal year
Sec. 11117: Toll Roads, Bridges, Tunnels, and Ferries
- Authorizes the government to pay up to 85% of the costs of
replacing or retrofitting a diesel fuel ferry vessel until the end
of fiscal year 2025.
Sec. 11118: Bridge Investment Program
- Authorizes between $600 million and $700 million per year
through 2026 (from the Highway Trust Fund) for repairs to
- If a Federal agency wants grant money to repair a Federally
owned bridge, it "shall" consider selling off that asset to the
State or local government.
Sec. 11119: Safe Routes to School
- Creates a new program to improve the ability of children to
walk and ride their bikes to school by funding projects including
sidewalk improvements, speed reduction improvements, crosswalk
improvements, bike parking, and traffic diversions away from
- Up to 30% of the money can be used for public awareness
campaigns, media relations, education, and staffing.
- No additional funding is provided. It will be funded with
existing funds for "administrative expenses."
Sec. 11121: Construction of Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal
- Authorizes between $110 million and $118 million per year
through 2026 (from the Highway Trust Fund) to construct ferry boats
and ferry terminals.
Subtitle D - Climate Change
Sec. 11401: Grants for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure
- Creates a new grant program with $15 million maximum per grant
for governments to build public charging infrastructure for
vehicles fueled with electricity, hydrogen, propane, and "natural"
- The construction of the projects can be contracted out to
Sec. 11402: Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities
- Establishes a program to study and test projects that would
Sec. 11403: Carbon Reduction Program
- Allows, but does not require, the Transportation Secretary to
use money for projects related to traffic monitoring, public
transportation, trails for pedestrians and bicyclists, congestion
management technologies, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications
technologies, energy efficient street lighting, congestion pricing
to shift transportation demand to non-peak hours, electronic toll
collection, installing public chargers for electric, hydrogen,
propane, and gas powered vehicles.
Sec. 11404: Congestion Relief Program
- Creates a grant program, funded at a minimum of $10 million per
grant, for projects aimed at reducing highway congestion. Eligible
projects include congestion management systems, fees for entering
cities, deployment of toll lanes, parking fees, and congestion
pricing, operating commuter buses and vans, and carpool
- Buses, transit, and paratransit vehicles "shall" be allowed to
use toll lanes "at a discount rate or without charge."
Sec. 11405: Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative,
Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program
- Establishes the "PROTECT program", which provides grants for
projects to protect some current infrastructure from extreme
weather events and climate related changes.
- Types of grants include grants for "at-risk coastal
infrastructure" which specifies that only "non-rail infrastructure
is eligible" (such as highways, roads, pedestrian walkways, bike
Sec. 11406: Healthy Streets Program
- Establishes a grant program to install reflective pavement and
to expand tree cover in order to mitigate urban heat islands,
improve air quality, and reduce stormwater run-off and flood
- Caps each grant at $15 million
TITLE III: RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY, AND EDUCATION
Sec. 13001: Strategic Innovation for Revenue Collection
- Provides grants for pilot projects to test our acceptance of
user-based fee collections and their effects on different income
groups and people from urban and rural areas. They will test the
use of private companies to collect the data and fees.
Sec. 13002: National Motor Vehicle Per-mile User Fee Pilot
- Creates a pilot program to test a national motor vehicle
per-mile user fee.
DIVISION B - SURFACE TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT ACT OF
TITLE I - MULTIMODAL AND FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION
Sec. 21201: National Infrastructure Project Assistance
- Authorizes $2 billion total per year until 2026 on projects
that cost at least $100 million that include highway, bridge,
freight rail, passenger rail, and public transportation
- Authorizes $1.5 billion total per year until 2026 (which will
expire after 3 years) for grants in amount between $1 million and
$25 million for projects that include highway, bridge, public
transportation, passenger and freight rail, port infrastructure,
surface transportation at airports, and more.
TITLE II - RAIL
Subtitle A - Authorization of Appropriations
Sec. 22101: Grants to Amtrak
- Authorizes appropriations for Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor
at between $1.1 billion and $1.57 billion per year through
- Authorizes appropriations for Amtrak in the National Network at
between $2.2 billion and $3 billion per year through 2026.
Subtitle B - Amtrak Reforms
Sec. 22201: Amtrak Findings, Mission, and Goals
- Changes the goal of cooperation between Amtrak, governments, &
other rail carriers from "to achieve a performance level sufficient
to justify expending public money" to "in order to meet the
intercity passenger rail needs of the United States" and expands
the service areas beyond "urban" locations.
- Changes the goals of Amtrak to include "improving its contracts
with rail carriers over whose tracks Amtrak operates."
Sec. 22208: Passenger Experience Enhancement
- Food and beverage service: Amtrak will establish a working
Sec. 22212: Enhancing Cross Border Service
- Amtrak must submit a report...
Sec. 22213: Creating Quality Jobs
- Amtrak will not be allowed to privatize the jobs previously
performed by laid off union workers.
Sec. 22214: Amtrak Daily Long Distance Study
- Amtrak would study bringing back long distance rail routes that
Subtitle C - Intercity Passenger Rail Policy
Sec. 22304: Restoration and Enhancement Grants
- Extends the amount of time the government will pay the
operating costs of Amtrak or "any rail carrier" that provides
passenger rail service from 3 years to 6 years, and pays higher
percentages of the the costs.
Sec. 22305: Railroad Crossing Elimination Program
- Creates a program to eliminate highway-rail crossings where
vehicles are frequently stopped by trains.
- Authorizes the construction on tunnels and bridges.
Sec. 22306: Interstate Rail Compacts Authorizes up to 10 grants
per year valued at a maximum of $ million each to plan and promote
new Amtrak routes
Sec. 22308: Corridor Identification and Development Program
- The Secretary of Transportation will create a program for
public entities to plan for expanded intercity passenger rail
corridors, operated by Amtrak or private companies.
- When developing plans for corridors, the Secretary has to
"consult" with "host railroads for the proposed corridor"
Subtitle D - Rail Safety
Sec. 22404: Blocked Crossing Portal
- The Administration of the Federal Railroad Administration would
establish a "3 year blocked crossing portal" which would collect
information about blocked crossing by trains from the public and
first responders and provide every person submitting the complaint
the contact information of the "relevant railroad" and would
"encourage" them to complain to them too.
- Information collected would NOT be allowed to be used for any
regulatory or enforcement purposes.
Sec. 22406: Emergency Lighting
- The Secretary of Transportation will have to issue a rule
requiring that all carriers that transport human passengers have an
emergency lighting system that turns on when there is a power
Sec. 22409: Positive Train Control Study
- The Comptroller General will conduct a study to determine the
annual operation and maintenance costs for positive train
Sec. 22423: High-Speed Train Noise Emissions
- Allows, but does not require, the Secretary of Transportation
to create regulations governing the noise levels of trains that
exceed 160 mph.
Sec. 22425: Requirements for Railroad Freight Cars Placed into
Service in the United States
- Effective 3 years after the regulations are complete (maximum 5
years after this becomes law), freight cars will be prohibited from
operating within the United States if more than 15% of it is
manufactured in "a country of concern" or state-owned
- The Secretary of Transportation can assess fines between
$100,000 and $250,000 per freight car. A company that has been
found in violation 3 times can be kicked out of the United State's
transportation system until they are in compliance and have paid
all their fines in full.
Sec. 22427: Controlled Substances Testing for Mechanical
- 180 days after this becomes law, all railroad mechanics will be
subject to drug testing, which can be conducted at random.
DIVISION C - TRANSIT
Sec. 30017: Authorizations
- Authorizes between $13.3 billion and $14.7 billion per year to
be appropriated for transit grants.
DIVISION D - ENERGY
TITLE I - GRID INFRASTRUCTURE AND RESILIENCY
Sec. 40101: Preventing Outages and Enhancing The Resilience of the
- Creates a $5 billion grant distribution program to electric
grid operators, electricity storage operations, electricity
generators, transmission owners and operators, distribution
suppliers, fuels suppliers, and other entities chosen by the
Secretary of Energy.
- The grants need to be used to reduce the risk that power lines
will cause wildfires.
- States have to match 15%. The company receiving the grant has
to match it by 100% (small utilities only have to match 1/3 of the
- Grant money be used for micro-grids and battery-storage in
addition to obvious power line protection measures.
- Grant money can not be used to construct a new electricity
generating facility, a large-scale battery facility that is not
used to prevent "disruptive events", or cybersecurity.
- The companies are allowed to charge customers for parts of
their projects that are not paid for with grant money (so they have
to match the grant with their customer's money).
Sec. 40112: Demonstration of Electric Vehicle Battery Second-Life
Applications for Grid Services
- Creates a demonstration project to show utility companies that
electric car batteries can be used to stabilize the grid and reduce
peak loads of homes and businesses.
- The demonstration project must include a facility that "could
particularly benefit" such as a multi-family housing building, a
senior care facility, or community health center.
TITLE II - SUPPLY CHAINS FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
Sec. 40201: Earth Mapping Resources Initiative
- The US Geological Survey will get $320 million and ten years to
map "all of the recoverable critical minerals."
Sec. 40204: USGS Energy and Minerals Research Facility
- Authorizes $167 million to construct a new facility for energy
and minerals research.
- The facility can be on land leased to the government for 99
years by "an academic partner."
- Requires the USGS to retain ownership of the facility.
Sec. 40205: Rare Earth Elements Demonstration Facility
- Authorizes $140 million to build a rare earth element
extractions and separation facility and refinery.
- Does NOT require the government to retain ownership of the
TITLE III - FUELS AND TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
Subtitle A - Carbon Capture, Utilization, Storage, and
Sec. 40304: Carbon Dioxide Transportation Infrastructure Finance
- Authorizes $600 million for 2022 and 2023 and $300 million for
each year between 2024 and 2026 for grants and loan guarantees for
projects for transporting captured carbon dioxide.
- Each project has to cost more than $100 million and the
government can pay up to 80% of the costs.
- If the project is financed with a loan, the company will have
35 years to pay it back, with fees and interest. Loans can be
issued via private banks with guarantees provided by the
Sec. 40305: Carbon Storage Validation and Testing
- Creates a new program for funding new or expanded large-scale
carbon sequestration projects.
- Authorizes $2.5 billion through 2026.
Sec. 40308: Carbon Removal
- Creates a new program for grants or contracts for projects to
that will form "4 regional direct air capture hubs" that will each
be able to capture 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per
- Authorizes $3.5 billion per year through 2026.
Subtitle B - Hydrogen Research and Development
Sec. 40313: Clean Hydrogen Research and Development Program
- Changes a goal of an existing research and development plan for
hydrogen fuels (created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005) from
enhancing sources of renewable fuels and biofuels for hydrogen
production to enhancing those sources and fossil fuels with carbon
capture and nuclear energy.
- Expands the activities of this program to include using
hydrogen for power generation, industrial processes including
steelmaking, cement, chemical feestocks, and heat production.
- They intend to transition natural gas pipelines to hydrogen
- They intend for hydrogen to be used for all kinds of vehicles,
rail transport, aviation, and maritime transportation.
Sec. 40314: Additional Clean Hydrogen Programs
- Creates a new program to create "4 regional clean hydrogen
hubs" for production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of
- At least one regional hub is required to demonstrate the
production of "clean hydrogen from fossil fuels."
- At least one regional hub is required to demonstrate the
production of "clean hydrogen from renewable energy."
- At least one regional hub is required to demonstrate the
production of "clean hydrogen from nuclear energy."
- The four hubs will each demonstrate a different use: Electric
power generation, industrial sector uses, residential and
commercial heating, and transportation.
- Requires the development of a strategy "to facilitate
widespread production, processing, storage, and use of clean
hydrogen", which will include a focus on production using coal.
The hydrogen hubs should "leverage natural gas to the maximum
- Creates a new program to commercialize the production of
hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.
- The overall goal is to identify barriers, pathways, and policy
needs to "transition to a clean hydrogen economy."
Authorizes $9.5 billion through 2026.
Sec. 40315: Clean Hydrogen Production Qualifications
- Develops a standard for the term "clean hydrogen" which has a
carbon intensity equal to or less than 2 kilograms of carbon
dioxide-equivalent produced at the site of production per kilogram
of hydrogen produced."
Subtitle C - Nuclear Energy Infrastructure
Sec. 40323: Civil Nuclear Credit Program
- Creates a program, authorized to be funded with $6 billion per
year through 2026, that will provide credit from the government to
nuclear reactors that are projected to shut down because they are
Subtitle D - Hydropower
Sec. 40331: Hydroelectric Production Incentives
- Authorizes a one-time appropriation of $125 million for fiscal
Sec. 40332: Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentives
- Authorizes a one-time appropriation of $75 million for fiscal
Sec. 40333: Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity
- Authorizes a one-time appropriations of $553 million for
repairs and improvements to dams constructed before 1920. The
government will pay a maximum of 30% of the project costs, capped
at $5 million each.
Sec. 40334: Pumped Storage Hydropower Wind and Solar Integration
and System Reliability Initiative
- Authorizes $2 million per year through 2026 to pay 50% or less
of the costs of a demonstration project to test the ability of a
pumped storage hydropower project to facilitate the long duration
storage of at least 1,000 megawatts of intermittent renewable
Subtitle E - Miscellaneous
Sec. 40342: Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and
Former Mine Land
- Creates a new program, authorized to be funded with $500
million through 2026, to demonstrate the technical and economic
viability of putting clean energy projects on former mine land.
There will be a maximum of 5 projects and 2 of them have to be
- Defines a "clean energy project" to include "fossil-fueled
electricity generation with carbon capture, utilization, and
TITLE X - AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR ENERGY ACT OF
Sec. 41001: Energy Storage Demonstration Projects
- Authorizes $505 million through2025 for energy storage
Sec. 41002: Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program
- Authorizes between $281 million and $824 million per year
through 2027 for advanced nuclear reactor demonstration
Sec. 41004: Carbon Capture Demonstration and Pilot Programs
- Authorizes between $700 million and $1.3 billion through2025
for advanced nuclear reactor demonstration projects.
Sec. 41007: Renewable Energy Projects
- Authorizes $84 million through 2025 for geothermal energy
- Authorizes $100 million through 2025 for wind energy projects.
- There is a clarification that this is definitely NOT in
addition to amounts wind gets from another fund.
- Authorizes $80 million through 2025 for solar energy
DIVISION E - DRINKING WATER AND WASTEWATER
DIVISION F - BROADBAND
DIVISION G - OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS
DIVISION H - REVENUE PROVISIONS
DIVISION I - OTHER MATTERS
DIVISION J - APPROPRIATIONS
DIVISION K - MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Design by Only Child Imaginations
Music Presented in This Episode
Intro & Exit:
Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on
Music Alley by mevio)