Right now, Congress is negotiating a once-in-a-generation infrastructure and budget reconciliation package that will determine whether our country transitions to a clean energy economy in time to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Currently, about $1 trillion of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill addresses climate change. It is imperative that those provisions to advance clean energy, clean transportation, environmental justice, and climate resilience remain strong.
Here are some of the key climate provisions in the bill:
- A Clean Energy Payment Program that caps carbon pollution and puts us on a path to 100% Clean Electricity by 2035, and 80% by 2030. This is one of the most impactful policies for cutting carbon pollution.
- Expanded renewable energy and clean vehicle tax credits and rebates for consumers, extended for 10 years
- Invest at least 40% of spending in disadvantaged communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution
- Support for dislocated fossil fuel workers to help them transition to clean energy jobs
- A Civilian Climate Corps to help Americans employ youth and train them for good, stable clean energy careers
- Replacement of lead pipes so all communities have safe drinking water.
While this is encouraging, the fossil fuel industry and some of the largest corporations in America have launched an expensive campaign to defeat the “Build Back Better” plan. If members of Congress don’t hear from their constituents the bill could be significantly watered down, or fail entirely. Click here to urge your representatives to support ambitious, bold investments that truly tackle the climate crisis.
The investments being proposed have real-world impacts. They will help communities struggling with pollution to clean up their air and water and to create jobs. They will help us become more resilient and better prepared for extreme weather events. They will help make the 2020’s the decade that we transition to a clean energy economy.
We don’t get political opportunities in Washington to act on climate very often — the last time a comprehensive bill to cut climate pollution passed the House (but not the Senate) was 2009. And our country doesn’t pass major infrastructure investments very often either. This is a historic moment to build a more sustainable, more equitable future with a safe climate. It is a moral opportunity to act on our values of caring for Creation, loving our neighbors, and being good stewards of the world we will bequeath to the next generation.