Here's a question tonight: Of the 100 senators that will presumably vote on the infrastructure bill, how many of them do you think have actually read the 2,701-page document?
That's right, 2,701 pages. I think that's bigger than any book written in history.
This is the longest book in history. The average Bible is a little over 1,000 pages. The spy novels I love to read usually run 400 or 500 pages at the outside depending on the size of the print.
This infrastructure bill, which would spend out more than a trillion dollars clocking in at 2,701 pages is quite a document and it's got some fabulous things inside it.
For example, the bill authorizes grant recipients to use the federal money for conducting an equity assessment by mapping tree canopy gaps, flood prone locations and urban heat island hot spots as compared to pedestrian walkways…and their impact on low-income communities and disadvantaged communities.
It's only $500 million over 5 years which is $100 million per year. In a trillion-dollar bill what's a hundred million?
I didn't know what an urban heat island was until we looked it up. An urban heat island occurs when a city experiences much warmer temperatures than nearby rural areas. Is this breaking news? I think not.
It goes on to say that in urban area materials like asphalt, steel and brick are often very dark colors like black, brown and gray. A dark object absorbs all wave lengths of light energy and converts them into heat so the object gets warm.
In the summer, New York City is about 7 degrees Fahrenheit—hotter than its surrounding areas. It could cause people to become dehydrated. Of course, hot temperatures require more fans and air conditioners.
NASA satellites can help figure out where these cities are the hottest. I would just say that $500 million is probably a bargain to discover these facts we already know. Cities are warmer than suburbs, which have more trees and grass.
Rural areas, where there's a nice summer breeze, are undoubtedly cooler than suburbs and cities. I just think a lot of people know this without the $500 million bucks, but I'm going to study up some more on urban heat islands.
There's equity assessment of urban areas and pollinator-friendly practices for roadsides with $10 million to pay consulting fees for advice on pollinator-friendly roadside management. Then there's a study about driving under the influence of marijuana. I kind of think we already know all about that.
Another study is to reduce collisions between motorists and endangered species wildlife. I wonder if that includes the lesser male prairie chicken that if declared an endangered species would close down the Permian Basin in Texas and surrounding areas. That would end 70% of our oil supply.
Then there's a drunk driving technology coming up in new cars, which will tell us not to drive drunk. I'm sure many other fascinating things that go into a 2701-page bill.
Now, here's a couple of points worth pondering:
Several Republican senators led by John Kennedy of Louisiana want to amend the infrastructure bill to prevent US tax dollars from benefiting China—our greatest geopolitical adversary.
One of them is the solar panel market where these popular solar panels are made in Xinxiang province (where the communist Chinese government has inhumanly violated the human rights of hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims.)
Forced labor from these concentration camps make solar panels. The Department of Labor last month recognized Chinese polysilicon as a key resource produced by child or forced labor. Nonetheless, the infrastructure bill has expensive incentives for solar panels. We shouldn't do that.
Senator John Barrasso would like to prevent federal funding from being used to buy "Chinese-made low-emission buses, ferries, or vehicles."
China produces more than 70% of all electric-vehicle batteries, while the U.S. produces 9%. More troubling is that China controls 80% of the critical minerals used to create the batteries through its trade partnerships with countries accused of using slave and child labor, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The infrastructure package, nonetheless, has $7.5 billion for electric buses and ferries. Senator Blackburn wants to prevent federal employees from using Chinese digital currency on taxpayer funding devices. She argues correctly, I think, that communist China uses the digital Uyan to track and surveil anybody who uses the currency including our government.
Until I better understand the urban heat islands, I’m going to get behind senators Kennedy, Barrasso and Blackburn on no infrastructure benefits to China.