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Clarke Leads Push to Expand Access to Electric Vehicles and Promote Digital Equity in “Moving Forward Act” House Infrastructure Package

Washington, D.C.– Late this afternoon House Energy & Commerce Committee Vice Chair Yvette D. Clarke  (NY-09)  took bold steps in investing in our nation’s infrastructure through her vote in favor of the House Democrats’ comprehensive infrastructure package, H.R. 2, the “Moving Forward Act,” which passed in the House. This landmark legislation includes three of Clarke’s bills and one of her amendments that would spur greater investment in zero-emission transportation, promote digital equity and expand access to high-speed broadband internet. H.R. 2 is a more than $1.5 trillion plan to rebuild and modernize America’s infrastructure—not only for roads, bridges and transit systems, but also for schools, housing, clean energy, broadband connectivity and more. 

Clarke said: “I am proud that several pieces of my legislation have been recognized by my colleagues as critical in addressing America’s infrastructure and that these have been included in the Moving Forward Act Infrastructure Package. And ultimately, I am proud to have cast my vote today for the House infrastructure package, H.R. 2, which will take major steps towards increasing equity and resilience within our nation’s infrastructure.”

“We know all too well from our experience dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic that the connections between air pollution, underlying health conditions and COVID-19 outcomes in Black and Brown communities are as clear as day. That’s why it’s vital that we implement strong policies that will invest in our communities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle air pollution. It is also critical that we work to close the digital divide and expand access to broadband internet so that all members of our community have access to critical resources such as online learning,” Clarke continued. 

House Democrats endorsed the following Clarke sponsored legislation that are now a part of H.R. 2:

  • The FREEZER Trucks Act of 2019 (H.R.5256) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from refrigerated trucks by establishing a pilot program to electrify refrigeration units on trucks that transport temperature-sensitive goods, and to support the construction of zero-emission charging infrastructure. 
  • The Electric Vehicles for Underserved Communities Act of 2020 (H.R.5751) to expand access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure in urban areas, particularly within low-income communities and communities of color, and to direct the Department of Energy to prioritize clean transportation needs and air quality improvement in underserved and disadvantaged communities. 
  • The Digital Equity Act of 2019 (H.R.4486) to establish a State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program to make distributions to states based on their populations, demographics, and availability and adoption of broadband. The bill also establishes the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program for supporting efforts to achieve digital equity, promote digital inclusion, and stimulate adoption of broadband.
  • The Clarke Broadband Access Amendment to require the Comptroller General of the US Government to conduct an analysis of high-speed internet connectivity in federally-assisted housing, and to require HUD to conduct a masterplan for achieving the necessary retrofitting across the federal housing stock to support broadband service.

There is overwhelming support for the Moving Forward Act from industry, consumer, conservation and labor groups including Transportation for America, American Public Transportation Association, Teamsters, Carpenters-Operating Engineers, National League of Cities, NRDC, ITS America, National Parks Conservation Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, Pew Charitable Trusts, and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) among others.

View a printable version of the fact sheet on the Moving Forward Act here.