On Tuesday, September 20, United States Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor visited Guam to announce new investments for the territory from both the Inflation Reduction Act and President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This was her first official visit to Guam since she was sworn in on August 4.
The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $15 million for the territories under “climate change technical assistance” according to the Department of the Interior (DOI).
The DOI states that “The Inflation Reduction Act is a historic and transformational investment toward achieving President Biden’s ambitious goals to tackle the climate crisis while lowering costs for working families and creating good-paying jobs.”
Secretary Cantor also announced that $167,815 will be provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the University of Guam. This funding goes toward the University’s Coconut Rhinocerous Beetle Tree Injection Program. The program is being implemented to mitigate the spread of the invasive Rhinocerous Beetle through different seaports—so that the beetles don’t spread and damage islands less equipped to deal with the species.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continuously allocates funds for Guam. As of July 2022, $57 million from the law had been announced and was on its way to the territory. The White House reports that by the end of 2022, Guam will have received almost $30 million for transportation and over $26 million for clean water.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also promises Guam residents access to affordable high-speed internet through a $25 million dollar investment. Through the law, the Biden-Harris administration also established a website where residents can see if they qualify for a $30-a-month maximum internet cost along with a discount of up to $100 dollars for a laptop, desktop, or tablet.
The White House states that “[b]y reaching communities all across Guam, the law makes critical investments that will improve lives for residents and position Guam for success.”
During her visit, the Assistant Secretary also met with Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to “discuss matters related to the Biennial Pacific Judicial Conference and the Joint Annual District Court Conferences for both Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” the White House states.
In her announcement, Secretary Cantor emphasized that the DOI is committed to the people of Guam.