November 15, 2021

Neguse-Wyden Disaster Safe Power Grid Proposal Signed Into Law as Part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Joe Neguse and Senator Ron Wyden’s proposal to upgrade America’s power system and protect local communities from extreme weather events was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The pair introduced the Disaster Safe Power Grid Act earlier this year to ensure that power companies do their part to reduce the risks of power blackouts and wildland fires through power system upgrades, fire and disaster safety equipment installation, and proper vegetation management. Based on this vision, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act delivers $5 billion for this program to upgrade power infrastructure to ensure powerlines and energy technologies are able to handle the challenges of the future. 

“Coloradans are no stranger to extreme weather, whether the devastating wildfires we experienced last year, intense flooding or heavy winter storms,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “It’s time we make a significant investment in making our power grid more resilient to extreme weather events and properly equip American families and communities. We’re thrilled to see our vision for a disaster safe power grid delivered on through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This historic investment will ensure families in Northern Colorado are protected from power outages in the wake of climate-related weather incidents.” 

“Oregon's severe weather events in 2020 and 2021 -- from windstorms that downed powerlines and sparked catastrophic infernos to ice storms that left hundreds of thousands without power -- prove that aging grid infrastructure is no match for the climate crisis,” Wyden said. “This historic investment to make our power grid more resilient will go a long way in keeping Oregonians and Americans across the country safer and with power as we continue the climate fight.”

Heavy snow in March of this year left nearly 25,000 Coloradans without power. 12,000 Coloradans lost power last June during a wild wind storm. Extreme heat and wildfires are also both threats to Colorado power, wildfires can burn power lines and cause outages, burned lines can also start fires when there are strong winds and dry conditions.