BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Senator Mitt Romney says Utah will benefit from new infrastructure proposal

Jun 24, 2021, 5:15 PM | Updated: 5:35 pm

Landscape view of Salt Lake City, Utah population growth Photo: Carter Williams KSL.com

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Senator Mitt Romney says roads, bridges, airports, broadband and water and power infrastructure are among the ways Utah could benefit from the new bipartisan plan on infrastructure if it becomes law. 

“No one has allocated the funding to a particular state. But I do know that dollars that go to roads and bridges go according to a formula, which Utah receives its fair share of under the formula,” Senator Romney said while meeting virtually with Utah reporters after President Biden announced the bipartisan plan Thursday.

According to Romney, the largest chunk of the $579 billion new spending plan – $110 billion of it – would go to the nation’s roads and bridges. The total bill would cost $973 billion over five years, or $1.2 trillion over eight years.

The President made the announcement after meeting with a group of Republicans, Senator Romney being one of them,  and members of his own party.

“To have a bipartisan group come together and reach a consensus and for the President to endorse it is a big step foreword,” Romney said.

Utah’s junior Senator also says Utah’s water infrastructure could benefit from this money. 

“In our state where things are particularly dry, being able to have funding going into water projects, storage projects, distribution projects, is a good thing for Utah,” said Romney.

Power is another area where Romney thinks Utah could use this money.

“The folks at Rocky Mountain Power say that over the next couple decades they’re going to move to about 70% renewables, well that suggests a very dramatic change in technology as well as distribution systems. And this funding allows that to happen,” he said. 

In all, Romney laid out the following numbers of the plan which, if passed, is said to be rolled out over the next five years. Romney also said because of that it wouldn’t be raising inflation or taxes.

He said it will be paid for by reallocating Covid relief money, going after enforcement of unemployment insurance fraud, and through dynamic scoring, where he said the physical infrastructure is projected to create additional economic activity. 

  • $110 billion for roads and bridges
  • $73 billion for energy which would include the power grid, nuclear testing facilities, hydrogen facilities, and solar and wind
  • $66 billion for rail, primarily passenger rail
  • $65 billion for broadband into rural areas
  • $49 billion for public transit repair
  • $47 for resiliency which Senator Romney said means finding ways to reduce the risk of threats, like wildfires or floods.
  • $25 billion for airports$55 billion for water infrastructure which would include removing lead pipes and expanding water projects
  • $21 billion for environmental remediation
  • $20 billion for infrastructure financing
  • $16 billion for ports and waterways
  • $15 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, buses and ferries
  • $11 billion for safety
  • $5 billion for western water storage
  • $1 billion for “reconnecting communities”

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Senator Mitt Romney says Utah will benefit from new infrastructure proposal