Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Promises about Infrastructure on The Obameter

Change standards for determining broadband access

Will direct the Federal Communications Commission to "provide an accurate map of broadband availability using a true definition of broadband instead of the current 200 kbs standard and an assessment of obstacles to fuller broadband penetration."

Create a $60 billion bank to fund roads and bridges

"Will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation's most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity."

Modernize public health buildings

Government "must invest in ... modernizing our physical structures, particularly our public health laboratories."

Create a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan

"The federal government's National Asset Database, which is supposed to guide homeland security priorities, lists 77,069 potential U.S. targets including petting zoos and popcorn factories. Experts say this database is relatively useless for any level of homeland security planning. Barack Obama's Department of Homeland Security will develop a meaningful critical infrastructure protection plan across the nation and will work with the private sector to ensure that all real targets are prepared for disasters both natural and man-made."

Prioritize security investments in refineries, pipelines and power grids

"Barack Obama will prioritize security investments in our refineries and pipelines and power grids."

Encourage water-conservation efforts in the West

Will "support federal policies to encourage voluntary water banks, wastewater treatment, and other market-based conservation measures" to address the water shortage in western states.

Strengthen the levees in New Orleans

"Will ensure that New Orleans has a levee and pumping system to protect the city against a 100-year storm by 2011, with the ultimate goal of protecting the entire city from a Category 5 storm."

Shake loose federal money for rebuilding the Gulf Coast

"Will ensure resources reach the communities that need it...Will streamline the application process so that communities feel that FEMA is a partner in reconstruction, not an opponent. They will elevate the federal rebuilding coordinator so that he or she reports directly to the president and so that rebuilding remains a national priority...Will work closely with the state to distribute critical infrastructure dollars. They also will ensure that no unnecessary red-tape or burdensome regulations are holding up state and local plans, while retaining the need for public accountability."

Appoint a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the rebuilding following national disasters

"Will appoint a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the rebuilding following national disasters to minimize waste and abuse."

Make security part of new infrastructure design

"Will ensure that security is considered and built into the design of new infrastructure, so that our critical assets are protected from the start and more resilient to naturally-occurring and deliberate threats throughout their life-cycle."

Expand broadband's reach

Will "get true broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation's wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives."

Make buildings more energy efficient

"Will establish a goal of making all new buildings carbon neutral, or produce zero emissions, by 2030. They will also establish a national goal of improving new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building efficiency by 25 percent over the next decade to help us meet the 2030 goal."

Modernize the nation's electricity grid and use "smart grid" practices

"Will establish a Grid Modernization Commission to facilitate adoption of Smart Grid practices across the nation's electricity grid to the point of general adoption and ongoing market support in the U.S. electric sector. They will instruct the Secretary of Energy to: (1) establish a Smart Grid Investment Matching Grant Program to provide reimbursement of one-fourth of qualifying Smart Grid investments; (2) conduct programs to deploy advanced techniques for managing peak load reductions and energy efficiency savings on customer premises from smart metering, demand response, distributed generation and electricity storage systems; and (3) establish demonstration projects specifically focused on advanced technologies for power grid sensing, communications, analysis, and power flow control, including the integration of demand-side resources into grid management."

Upgrade nation's infrastructure through new partnership with state and local government

"Will enter into a new partnership with state and local civic, political, and business leaders to enact a truly national infrastructure policy that recognizes that we must upgrade our infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population, a changing economy, and our short and long-term energy challenges."

Modernize air traffic system

"Will work with Congress to modernize the nation's air traffic control system and he will direct the new FAA Administrator to work cooperatively with the frontline air traffic controllers to restore morale and improve working conditions and operations at the agency."

Invest in public transportation

"Will re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. Obama and Biden will work with state and local governments across the country on efforts to create new, effective public transportation systems and modernize our aging urban public transit infrastructure."

Provide grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes

"Will create a competitive grant program to award those states and localities that take the first steps in implementing new building codes that prioritize energy efficiency, and provide a federal match for those states with leading-edge public benefits funds that support energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings."