Webinar on Infrastructure Investment

July 20, 2022 - 6:00 PM
Oregon Department of Energy
Free--Public Meeting

A piece of Oregon's electric grid.
A piece of Oregon's electric grid.\Photo courtesy of Energy Info Oregon.

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law, which will provide funding for energy efficiency, weatherization, grid resilience, and more over the next five years. The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) has been actively researching and planning for requesting available funds since the passage of the IIJA and invited the public to two webinars to discuss the results.  The first took place on Tuesday, July 12.  The second is coming up Wednesday, July 20 at 6 p.m.  ODOE will share an overview of the anticipated funding to Oregon and outline their proposed priorities. Both webinars are open to all and will cover the same information.

ODOE seeks statewide input on the public’s opinion regarding infrastructure priorities. Potential projects include building and repairing roads and bridges, deploying broadband internet to rural areas, and strengthening the electric grid and water systems. As extreme weather events become more frequent with our changing climate, changes must be made to Oregon’s infrastructure to accommodate environmental factors and the increased energy demand they create.

Extreme heat events have already shown that high temperatures compromise the integrity of pavement, causing it to soften and expand, leading to rutting and potholes in high-traffic areas. According to a Rutgers University study, keeping roads in good shape can save money and reduce net heat-trapping gas emissions. In addition to lowering agency spending, roadway improvements can save money for Oregonians who drive by reducing tire wear (which also reduce pollution washing into waterways) and vehicle maintenance. Smoother roads also aid in fuel efficiency.

This is obviously an opportunity for members of the public to weigh in on Oregon’s energy future in an era of climate change.

For more information on the public meeting and how to join online, go here.

You can also comment online here.  At this site you will also be able to view the recordings on the webinars.