Eco-friendly upgrades coming to Sunport - Albuquerque Journal

Eco-friendly upgrades coming to Sunport

About $7 million worth of environmentally friendly upgrades will be made to the Albuquerque International Sunport — part of a nationwide project by the Federal Aviation Administration to make airports more sustainable.

In Albuquerque, the money will fund zero-emissions passenger shuttle buses and charging stations, as well as more environmentally friendly units that power and pump air into taxiing planes.

“This is a great example of how we can power our economic recovery by also meeting our responsibility on climate,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. “I’m proud to welcome this major investment in the Sunport that will support cleaner air over Albuquerque, reduce carbon pollution, and help a critical economic driver for our state build back better from the pandemic.”

The entire project funds about $431 million worth of upgrades to airports across the country.

Some of the money comes from COVID-19 relief packages, which directed money to help airports rebound after the pandemic slowed air travel.

HOUSING EFFORT: New Mexico Rep. Melanie Stansbury this week joined dozens of progressives in Congress by co-sponsoring legislation that would extend an eviction moratorium for renters until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 would clarify a federal law to give the secretary of the Health and Human Services Department the authority to issue such a moratorium. Last month, the Supreme Court struck down a Biden administration order extending the eviction moratorium. The bill’s sponsors are Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

“Housing is a fundamental human right, like access to food and water. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are facing evictions due to the pandemic. Ensuring families can stay housed is a matter of public health and basic human decency. Having grown up in a community where so many struggle and having seen these challenges firsthand, I know how crucial this legislation is,” Stansbury, who grew up in Albuquerque, said in a news release. ”

In August, Stansbury posted a video to Twitter in which she made an emotional plea to the president to extend the eviction moratorium. In the video, she recalled childhood experiences with housing and food insecurity, including months she spent sleeping in a tent in a friend’s backyard after her mother had an accident and lost her job.

Julia Friedmann, a spokeswoman for Stansbury, said that extending the moratorium would give renters more time to access rental assistance money. She also said landlords who depend on rent checks can access aid packaged in COVID relief bills that was designed to help small landlords.

Friedmann said that $46 billion in rental assistance was made available for renters, but much of that money hasn’t yet reached those who need it.

 

Ryan Boetel: rboetel@abqjournal.com

 

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