More jobs, more passengers, lower operation costs, less pollution, less highway traffic, less noise. So what’s not to like? The fact that this long-overdue project covers just 51 of the 140,000 miles of rail lines in the United States. What’s needed if we are really serious about green transportation is a lot more. For example, this coalition supports the building of a Steel Interstate System, a coast-to-coast, high-performance, green-sourced, electrified rail system.
The Chinese have been creating a 21st century infrastructure for more than a decade at a time when much of America’s infrastructure is obsolete and rotting.
That’s why it’s excellent to hear Democratic candidate Stacy Abrams, who is running for governor of Georgia, talking about building a program of Advanced Clean Energy Jobs. That is the sort of talk we should be hearing from Democratic candidates in every state. Because a 21st century infrastructure demands it. Neither Abrams’s nor other candidates’ or incumbents’ plans would be substitutes to federal programs, but rather additions to and potential models for such.
Obviously, until Democrats have the necessary political clout in Congress—which means strong majorities—there will be little along these lines happening at the federal level. But that doesn’t mean Democrats should hold their tongues about this. Voters need to know what the party would push in the realm of energy and green infrastructure once it has that political clout. Indeed, delivering plain talk about this could help them get that clout.
No Democratic candidates should have to be nudged into talking on the campaign trail about such matters. It should be as prominent as their talk about health care, education, and taxes. And it should be more than just talk.