First Things First

We’d like to thank you Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for offering an amendment to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will increase the amount of money our nation spends to update our anachronistic sewer and drinking water infrastructure from $6 billion (current House and Senate bill) to $13 billion.

What does that $7 billion translate into? It means another 1,935 sewers in disrepair will be fixed and another 385 drinking water projects will get underway. It means an additional 154,000 people will be employed in an array of jobs – American jobs – jobs that won’t be, can’t be exported to China, India or any other country. But most importantly, it means that the Great Lakes would be that much tidier; and the drinking water for 26 million people would be that much cleaner; and we could finally eat the fish that live in our lakes; and we could go to the beach without fear of closings from sewage overflows.

We have at least $20 billion in ready-to-go-or-shovel-ready- jobs just waiting for the feds to give them a green light. Just last week the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our nation’s water infrastructure a D and the EPA estimates it will cost $500 billion to really fix America’s ailing water systems. It seems like a much more worthy goal than spending $9 billion to bring broadband to rural areas – a move the New York Times warns could become a “cyberbridge to nowhere.” If our lawmakers can see fit to spend $9 billion on something we don’t have to have right now, then it only seems logical that of they would boost funding for our nation’s fresh water – something we actually need to survive and something that is in dire crisis.

There are 16 US Senators from the Great Lakes region. We expect every last one of our Senators to get behind this amendment and use every tool in their persuasion box to get this passed. We need the infrastructure improvement and we need the jobs.

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