U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday touted the millions of dollars being sent to states like New York – including $21 million to make improvements to a bridge just south of Albany. And more cash for New York communities may be on the way.
Money is flowing into New York to improve its infrastructure. And Buttigieg says much of that cash is coming with an eye toward the future.
"I would be shocked if we did not continue to see more competitive applications coming in," he said. "Many communities have already done very well."
Buttigieg was in Rensselaer County to highlight the $21 million in funding for the bridge restoration. The announcement came a day after the Environmental Protection Agency announced new emissions standards meant to phase out gas-powered cars – raising questions over whether the infrastructure for electric vehicles will be in place in the next decade.
"We know that we can’t run tomorrow’s cars on yesterday’s charging infrastructure," he told Spectrum News 1 in an interview. "But we also know we can’t turn back clock and remain doing things the old way forever."
More work needs to be done to ensure homes and businesses have electric vehicle charging stations – and the federal government is investing to do so in areas that could be underserved. The Biden administration is planning an expansion of electric vehicle charging stations across the country in the coming years as more all-electric cars hit the road.
New York expects to receive $175 million from the federal government to expand electric vehicle charging stations.
"If you live a single family home, in the suburbs or a rural area, charging could be as simply as plugging into your wall," Buttigieg said. "But that’s not as easy if you’re in a multi-family apartment building. That’s why we have to make sure there are options, including areas where it is not yet profitable for the private sector to do it on their own."
New York state itself is transitioning to more renewable forms of energy in the coming years. It’s a complex and potentially costly change for consumers. U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko says all levels of government need to be on the same page.
"You can’t silo your way forward," Tonko said. "There has to be this interaction with agencies so we’re all on the same team pulling on the same goals."
Hochul’s office, meanwhile, announced Thursday $8.3 million for local governments to expand electric vehicle infrastructure. The money comes as a budget deal remains up in the air – a budget that could advance goals of phasing out fossil fuels in new construction.
"We’re going to work hard through the weekend," Hochul said. "So, I’ve laid out my priorities for how to make New York safer, more livable and more affordable. And that’s the budget I plan to deliver."