On September 3, 2021, Fred Wagner was featured on NAEP’s Environmental Professionals Radio, where he discussed practicing law, the history of environmental policy, and updates to President Biden’s infrastructure bill.
When asked to describe one thing that stood out in the infrastructure bill passed by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Wagner noted the changing definition of infrastructure. “I think there is a little more consensus that the things people rely on day in and day out to make their lives better is a lot more than roads, bridges, and transit,” Mr. Wagner said. “Secretary Buttigieg put it best when he said, ‘People only care about infrastructure when it doesn’t work.’ If everything is working fine, then you can get to work, you can pick up your phone and there’s a dial tone, you can turn on your faucet and there’s water, you can put out your trash and it’s taken away, and you can hook up the internet and there’s a good connection … Infrastructure is the stuff you turn on and rely on every day. If it isn’t there, the quality of your life is measurably affected.”
“I don’t know if it will go as far as healthcare and childcare and so forth as a political matter, but I think there is some understanding that those obligations of government and the public sector to provide for its citizens is a lot broader than the typical definition of infrastructure,” Mr. Wagner added.
Click here to access the podcast.