Secretary Haaland Highlights Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments in Visit to California

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland went on a five-day West Coast tour to highlight the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic investments to help local, state and tribal communities tackle the climate crisis while creating good-paying union jobs, advancing environmental justice and boosting local economies.

At the Western Governors Association Winter Meeting in San Diego, Secretary Haaland highlighted how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making a once-in-a-generation investment in the U.S., and why working collaboratively with states is key in the success of putting these new resources to work.

“We have been presented with a unique opportunity to collaborate and advance our shared priorities to build a better America,” said Secretary Haaland. “The infrastructure law invests in areas where we, working closely together, have a chance to make a better future for the people we serve in the areas of wildfire, drought, legacy pollution clean-up, and restoration of the outdoors that we all love.”

While in Los Angeles County, CA, Secretary Haaland toured idle and orphaned wells in Wilmington and participated in an environmental justice roundtable to discuss the devastating and long-lasting effects of legacy pollution.  According to recent estimates, more than 500,000 people in Los Angeles County live within a half mile of an active or idle oil and gas well.

“From creating good-paying union jobs in a clean energy economy, to making the outdoors more accessible, to cleaning up legacy pollution left behind by orphaned wells, I believe every community deserves clean air and water and access to good-paying union jobs,” Secretary Haaland said during an environmental justice roundtable.

Secretary Haaland also joined Mayor Eric Garcetti and local Los Angeles City leaders to learn about what is being done to restore these areas for future generations. The infrastructure law includes $4.7 billion for orphaned well site plugging, remediation, and restoration activities that will address longstanding risks of water contamination, seeping toxic chemicals, and noxious gas emissions.

Secretary Haaland’s trip continued as she toured onshore renewable energy projects in Palm Springs, CA, and discussed the importance of investing in a clean energy economy. She also visited Las Vegas, NV, to meet with stakeholders and highlight investments that will help address the worsening drought crisis.