As members of the Ohio Mayors Alliance—a bipartisan coalition of mayors in over two dozen of Ohio’s largest cities—we know that bipartisanship is the way to get things done. This is why we’re pleased to see that a bipartisan infrastructure deal has come together in the U.S. Senate, one that includes meaningful investments in clean energy infrastructure that will help drive significant growth, job creation, and innovation. Ohio communities could soon see an influx of clean energy infrastructure investments that will create jobs, charge local economies, and help businesses and municipalities recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. We call on Congress to pass and President Biden to sign this package into law as soon as possible.
Earlier this month, five of our fellow Ohio Mayors Alliance members (Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn, Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler, and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan), expressed support for the federal bipartisan infrastructure deal recently announced by the White House. The Alliance is a partner of the Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO) campaign, which is working to “build a clean future for our communities” and empower “local leaders with tools and resources to create carbon reduction plans and implement them in ways that are achievable, measurable, equitable, and economical.” Just this May, PCFO hosted a Clean Energy Summit, which featured a pledge to reduce local emissions by 30% below 2010 levels by 2030. As municipal executives, we know that building a clean energy future is critical to growth, not its opponent.
In fact, we couldn’t agree more with Mayor Muryn: “Not only is this package an important next step in our nation’s recovery, it is a much needed long-term investment in our country’s people and economic competitiveness.” Why are we so bullish on this Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework? Overall, it invests more than $1 trillion in rail, bridges, transit, and highways, as well as green infrastructure. But perhaps most importantly, it takes an “all the above” approach to clean energy investment, allocating funds to everything from energy transmission and pipeline modernization to grants for electric vehicle charging programs and increased funding for low carbon buses. Such an approach is vital because it not only gives us flexibility to access diverse energy types from myriad sources, it also maintains the kind of consumer choice and energy affordability our citizens and businesses expect and deserve.
Everyone would benefit from investments as proposed in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. Businesses would get cleaner, cheaper energy and a more robust infrastructure framework, workers would have access to good-paying, 21st century jobs, and localities like ours would enjoy significant economic growth via both existing and new businesses. More broadly, investing in clean energy infrastructure would help secure our country’s energy independence while improving national security and public safety, all while working to lower emissions and minimize climate impacts and natural disasters.
If implemented, these investments would represent a paradigm shift towards a better future for our cities, state, and nation—especially when combined with significant and increasing private sector clean-energy investments. For investment on the scale needed, federal legislators must take the lead. We are encouraged by the work the bipartisan Senate group and White House have done on these critical issues. We are grateful for the leadership shown by the Ohio Congressional Delegation—especially Senator Portman—in pushing to secure this bipartisan deal. Now it’s time to get this bill passed and signed and to get to work building a stronger clean energy future of Ohio and our nation.
The Ohio Mayors Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of mayors in over two dozen of Ohio’s largest cities. Athens Mayor Steve Patterson is a member who also represents a broad coalition of Appalachian mayors called the Mayors Partnership for Progress. Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler serves on the organization’s Board of Directors along with mayors from Cincinnati, Columbus, Findlay, Parma, Kettering, and Youngstown. For more information visit, www.OhioMayorsAlliance.org.