In this Feb. 1, 2022, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, left, speaks with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, right, following her testimony before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit: Andrew Harnik / AP

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Recent passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is good news for Maine’s rural communities, local businesses and our entire economy. Mainers should be grateful to Sen. Susan Collins for her tireless efforts to reach across the aisle in order to help shape and pass this much-needed investment in American infrastructure.

As a member of the Maine House of Representatives’ Energy, Utility and Technology Committee, I have already begun to see the benefits of these investments take shape, particularly with regard to funding for broadband expansion throughout our rural communities. Altogether, the infrastructure package passed by Congress dedicates  $100 million to expanding access to broadband here in Maine. That will go a long way in providing critical opportunities for Mainers and businesses statewide.

Moreover, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help Maine — and our entire country — continue to grow our clean energy technology and capabilities, including expanding alternative energy sources. Importantly, investing in clean energy will allow us to reduce emissions while fostering economic growth, creating jobs and improving the quality of life in communities across the state and nationwide.

These efforts will allow us to continue powering a stronger economy while positioning our state for future growth throughout the 21st century. On behalf of our great state and the constituents we share, I am thankful to have a leader like Collins fighting for policies that support and help advance these critical goals.

Rep. Nathan Carlow