The U.S. is on the cusp of losing more than $10 trillion in its Gross Domestic Product in the next two decades if steps aren’t taken to address the country’s infrastructure challenges.
According to a new report issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers, a lack of a comprehensive approach to infrastructure building and upgrading will also, in the next two decades, lead to the loss of more than 3 million U.S. jobs.
Those are two of the findings in the group’s just-released Failure to Act: Economic Impacts of Status Quo Investment Across Infrastructure System, which despite such gloomy predictions, is heavy in the area of solutions.
The reports notes that an investment of nearly $17 billion a year in the nation’s electricity infrastructure over the next several decades could protect up to 540,000 jobs, while a similar commitment to water and wastewater infrastructure will prevent some $250 billion in business costs.
“When we fail to invest in our infrastructure, we pay the price,” the ASCE report contends. “Poor roads and airports mean travel times increase. An aging electric grid and inadequate water distribution makes utilities unreliable.”
The reports notes that “infrastructure deterioration is progressive, and the economic effects will dramatically escalate over time from a business as usual approach.”
Even so, “the good news is that much of the economic decline from worsening infrastructure, particularly those forecast from 2030 to 2039, can be prevented with thoughtful investment programs that address documented deficiencies.”
The Biden Administration has announced plans to present to Congress a plan that the President has said will make “historic investments in infrastructure, along with manufacturing, research and development and clear energy.”
That plan is expected to be unveiled in February.
By Garry Boulard
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