The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Betsy Otto, American Rivers, (202) 347-7550 x3033
Angela Dicianno, American Rivers, (202) 347-7550 x3103

Senate Economic Recovery Plan Is Big Step Forward for Jobs, Clean Water

Statement by Betsy Otto, American Rivers


American Rivers today applauded the U.S. Senate for passing H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which will create jobs, put our nation on the path to economic growth, and transform the way we manage clean water and rivers, bringing real health and quality of life benefits to communities nationwide.

American Rivers praised Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) for their leadership on the bill. American Rivers also thanked Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) for their work on the clean water provisions in the bill.

The Senate version of H.R. 1 includes $2 billion for drinking water under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and $4 billion for clean water under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs.

As a whole, the bill includes investments that will create high quality green jobs here at home: generating more renewable energy; reducing our oil dependence through increased efficiency and public transit; restoring our parks, wildlife refuges, and forests; and funding local green infrastructure water projects.

Betsy Otto, vice president of strategic partnerships for American Rivers, made the following statement:

"This bill is a win-win-win: it creates jobs, improves the nation's rivers and clean water supplies, and saves communities money. This kind of investment represents a sea change, and will ensure that the nation is better prepared to meet the water challenges of the 21st Century. The bill is a down payment on a better future and will improve the lives of all Americans."

"Thanks to the Senate and the House, funding green infrastructure projects will provide an immediate stimulus to the economy while improving the safety and quality of life in communities and ensuring that plentiful clean water is available in the future to drive economic growth. Green solutions work better, cost less, and provide more flexibility for managing our water resources in the face of global warming."

American Rivers is the only national organization standing up for healthy rivers so our communities can thrive. Through national advocacy, innovative solutions and our growing network of strategic partners, we protect and promote our rivers as valuable assets that are vital to our health, safety and quality of life. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California and Northwest regions.