On Thursday, August 26, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Arizona Technology Council joined forces to host an invitation-only virtual roundtable focused on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package and its importance to Arizona businesses.
Senator Mark Kelly and Michelle Davidson, state director for Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s office, were joined by business leaders from 19 other Arizona organizations to have an open conversation about the new opportunities the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package has in store for Arizona’s booming clean energy technology sector.
“This bill ensures that Arizona’s transportation sector moves into the 21st century through investments in smart grid technology, electric vehicle charging stations, zero-emission school buses and commuter transit initiatives,” said Senator Kelly. “We look forward to working together to get Arizona its fair share of federal funding to support job creation, workforce development programs and historical investments in our state’s infrastructure and technological competitiveness.”
On behalf of Senator Sinema’s office, Michelle Davidson added that this federal funding will also be critical for putting Arizona on the map for business travel and trade by upgrading airport runways, improving air traffic control systems and enabling regional airports to accept a larger volume of flights. “The Senator was happy to work with her Republican colleagues to move this package forward,” said Davidson. “This package demonstrates that bipartisan agreement and compromise is critical to ensuring Arizona receives these needed federal investments.” When asked if clean energy tax incentives would be included in the budget reconciliation process, Davidson replied that the Senator “wants to review the $3.5 trillion framework and be actively engaged in negotiating what the final bill ends up looking like.”
In his remarks, Mayor John Giles, mayor of the City of Mesa, shared how Mesa is a great example of the tremendous economic growth Maricopa County is experiencing. “Gateway Airport has experienced record-breaking months in passenger travel, the expanding light rail route has been attracting new businesses to downtown Mesa and we are attracting Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, ElectraMeccanica and Dexcom. We need more federal funding because we are just getting started.”
Additional remarks were made by Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council; Toby Short, vice president of federal affairs at the Environment Defense Fund; Alana Langdon, senior manager of external affairs at Nikola Motors; Eric Massey, director of ESG policy and reporting at Arizona Public Service Company; and Marisa Walker, senior vice president of infrastructure at the Arizona Commerce Authority.
Other attendees included business leaders from Accurate Signs & Engraving Inc, American Express, Exponent, High Performance, ILLUME Advising, Institute of Automated Mobility, KORE Power Inc, Local First Arizona, Lucid USA Inc, onsemi, PayPal, Salt River Project, Snell & Wilmer, Veteran Solar X, and Zero Electric Vehicles Inc.
Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/tech-events to view all of the Council’s upcoming virtual tech networking opportunities, engaging virtual tech events and in-person tech events.