Sean Hannity and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem expressed rage in an interview last week on Fox News. They were unhappy with the fact that President Biden is spending a good amount of investment from his $2 trillion infrastructure package into water and housing pipes.
She said, “I was shocked by how much doesn’t go into infrastructure. It goes into research and development, it goes into housing and pipes and different initiatives, green energy, and it’s not really an honest conversation that we’re having about what this proposal is.” She added that she was frustrated. Probably Noem’s definition of infrastructure for energy only includes fossil fuels.
Noem along with more than 80 other Congress members who were all Republican signed a letter in 2017 which called on the Attorney general in 2017 who was Jeff Sessions to protect gas and oil pipes from protesters. They had written, “Maintaining safe and reliable energy infrastructure is a matter of national security.”
The letter leads us to believe that the real problem that most Republicans and Noem have with President Biden’s infrastructure plan is that it focuses on pipes that carry water instead of fossil fuels and energy resources other than gas and oil.
The White House released a long fact sheet on their plan and there was no mention of fossil fuel pipelines in it. It did have lengthy sections on lead pipes being replaced all over the United States to make sure there is access to clean drinking water and plugging abandoned gas and oil wells. You can compare this to President Trump’s infrastructure plan that failed which had an entire section on speeding up gas and oil pipeline projects.
The criticism from Noem is a part of an upcoming GOP talking point. Their main line of attack is that the President’s plan does not focus on what they consider traditional or genuine infrastructure. Russell Vought who is the Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Donald Trump told Fox News Radio last week, “You look at this bill, the $2 trillion in the bill that, only about 5 to 7% of it is actual roads and bridges and ports and things that you and I would say is real infrastructure and that we tried to get passed under the last administration with President Trump.”
This claim by Vought was fact-checked by The Washington Post who found it to be mostly untrue. The publication wrote, “Rail is transportation. Water pipes are infrastructure. Two plus two equals four.”
President Biden unveiled the American Jobs Plan last week during a speech in Pittsburgh. It includes $621 billion for rebuilding highways, roads that are crumbling, waterways, and bridges as well as a huge federal investment in clean energy to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are destroying the planet.