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McCarthy, Warren meet to discuss green jobs, infrastructure legislation

White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined state and local leaders Friday to discuss the influx of money coming to the state as a result of the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Massachusetts is expected to receive more than $9 billion, with with money earmarked for roads and bridges, public transportation, an electric vehicle charging network, internet expansion, climate resiliency, airport infrastructure and lead pipe replacement. President Biden is scheduled to sign the bill on Monday.

The roundtable conversation at the Ben Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston focused on the environmental justice investments baked into the legislation; 40% of the bill is designated for marginalized communities.

"A lot of the communities here in Massachusetts ... suffer from legacy pollution," said McCarthy. "This goes directly to taking the resources we need to actually improve lives."

Some of those resources would go to places like the Ben Franklin Institute that primarily serve Black and brown students, said Warren, highlighting the funding as an opportunity to expand green jobs.

Roundtable attendees met with students learning about the installation and operation of heat pumps. The state wants to install 1 million of the devices as part of its roadmap to meet environmental targets by 2030, but is well behind schedule to meet that benchmark.

Warren and McCarthy also touted the climate benefits of the Build Back Better plan, President Biden's landmark social safety net package. The plan has been the center of a congressional tug of war, with moderate Democrats concerned over the legislation's overall cost.

Warren said the bill is expected to go before the House next week, after which it will "go through a scrub." She expects it to appear in the Senate after Thanksgiving.

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Hannah Chanatry Twitter Producer, All Things Considered
Hannah Chanatry is a producer for WBUR's All Things Considered.

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