Infrastructure bill represents significant opportunity to support public power
As Congress and the Biden administration close in on a deal to pass a significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure, the not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities that power close to 2,000 towns and cities nationwide have a major stake in the contours of the final legislation.
Public power utilities serve more than 49 million Americans, power 2.6 million businesses, and employ 96,000 people. For some context, the population of Canada is 37 million people.
As the voice of these utilities, the American Public Power Association (APPA) supports many of the provisions in H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, currently under consideration by the House of Representatives.
Throughout the debate over this legislation, there has been widespread recognition that state and local governments often bear the primary responsibility for building and maintaining our nation’s critical infrastructure.
In no area is this responsibility more apparent than the responsibility of these local governments to provide safe, reliable power to their residents. Cities and towns own most public power utilities, but many are owned by counties, public utility districts, and even states.
With that perspective in mind, public power utilities are closely watching several provisions in the bill’s latest version.