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Building Trades Applaud Efforts to Protect Highways and Bridges; Advocate for Bringing Large Scale Clean Projects Online

 

Sacramento, CA – As Californians look for answers to the rising cost of fuel, the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (the “Building Trades”) announced support for recent efforts to protect the funding of roadway maintenance and construction projects.

“We applaud Governor Newsom, as well as Pro Tempore Atkins and Speaker Rendon, for working collaboratively to ease the burden of rising fuel costs without cutting the crucial funding needed to keep California’s roads and bridges safe,” said Andrew Meredith, President of the State Building Trades. “Now is not the time to harken back to the days where poor funding left our transportation infrastructure unsafe for California’s families to get to work and school.”

The invasion of Ukraine has left Californians reeling from sticker shock at the pump, due in large part to the state’s dependence on foreign oil.

“We believe an effort to increase domestic production can play a role in easing prices, but that will take time,” Meredith said. “We encourage lawmakers to explore what can be done here in California to avoid our need to turn towards other petro-dictators to supply our fuel. We produce cleaner and more efficiently than anywhere in the world. We can solve this problem domestically.”

The Ukraine crisis has also renewed discussions about California’s energy sector as a whole. With electric vehicle utilization on the rise, and calls from activists to increase electrification efforts increasing, the State Building Trades believes it is imperative to recognize our growing electrical supply deficiency.

“The strain that electrification is bringing to our electrical grid is real and tangible,” Meredith said. “Every new electric vehicle and newly electrified building that connects to the grid is making an existing supply problem worse. We have neglected expanding our grid in California in hopes that rooftop solar would be the answer, but that industry has failed us. Wages in that sector are near state minimums, and the power produced fluctuates greatly based on weather, time of year, and even neglected maintenance.”

California has seen several high-profile, large-scale generation projects either shuttered after years of faithful service or denied at the local permitting level, leaving the state susceptible to brownouts and ‘flex alert’ problems. To alleviate the problem, the State Building Trades believes a renewed effort to strengthen the grid is crucial.

“Onshore and offshore wind, pumped storage, commercial scale solar, and biomass are just a few of the industries that can play a role in helping us expand our generation capabilities,” Meredith said. “Building out and protecting the resiliency of our electrical grid in California is an issue of statewide concern, and we believe it should be treated as such. We believe lawmakers can play a critical role in expanding and maintaining our grid capabilities by incentivizing project development through funding allocations and siting help. We hope to work with them to get these things done this legislative session.”

On behalf of their nearly half million workers, the State Building Trades continue their work in the 2022 Legislative Session to make sure California works for all Californians, in part by protecting working families’ ability to afford to live and work in the Golden State.

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