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Black consumers, businesses must lead American energy policy talks

By Freddie Allen – National Editor | 3/22/2018, 8:19 a.m.
Due to shifting demographics in the U.S., it’s increasingly important for Blacks to take the lead in shaping America’s energy ...
Due to shifting demographics in the U.S., it’s increasingly important for Blacks to take the lead in shaping America’s energy policies. Submitted photo

Trump’s infrastructure plan commits “$200 billion in federal funding over 10 years to stimulate state and local spending and private investment,” NPR reported. “Half of the funding, $100 Billion, would be used as incentives to entice cities, counties and states to raise at least 80 percent of the infrastructure costs themselves.”

The article continued: “That's a departure from the way many projects are funded now. Funding for federal-aid highways, including interstates, is usually allocated in an 80-20 federal-state split. So, President Trump's plan would flip that funding burden.”

Shortly before the president’s infrastructure plan went public, the Senate Democrats released a “Jobs and Infrastructure Plan” that promised a “historic $1 trillion federal investment to modernize our crumbling infrastructure and create more than 15 million good-paying jobs that American families desperately need.”

The Senate Democrats’ plan would also hit President Trump’s tax law signed late last year.

The Senate Democrats' plan would raise the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, which Republicans cut from 35 percent to 21 percent, according to CNN Money. The Democrats’ proposal also “undoes parts of the new tax law in order to fund increased infrastructure spending.”

Woods said that when the Black Press informs the community, Black voters can hold legislators and policymakers accountable.

Woods said that with federal, state, and local funding, more than one trillion dollars will be spent on fixing bridges, highways and roads, building pipelines and upgrading the country’s energy grid. The Democrats’ plan also promised cheaper fuel and greater access to high-speed Internet in rural areas.

“That's about one trillion dollars that you're going to pay for,” said Woods, referring to taxpayers. “We need to ensure that we're participating.”

Woods continued: “Our communities are, very often, not at the table and not represented and miss the moment to impact the legislation. So, when you look at the Black Press and the opportunity to get that message out about the importance of policymaking in the energy industry—that’s huge.”