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House passes Historic Climate Action in Build Back Better Act
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House passes Historic Climate Action in Build Back Better Act

House Passes Historic Climate Action in Build Back Better Act


Now we’re counting on the Senate to deliver on the country’s most consequential climate legislation ever.

Activists march in Washington to demand Congress pass The Build Back Better Act. This transformative investment in workers, communities and the environment is Washington, D.C. October 27, 2021.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the most consequential climate legislation in the country’s history, sending the Build Back Better ActTo the Senate. The Senate has no other urgent business than to pass this bill.

The bill calls for strategic investment to cut the dangerous carbon pollution that’s driving the climate crisis, in a way that will create high-quality jobs, drive innovation, and advance equity.

This is what the voters expect from Congress: that it enacts legislation that helps the country tackle big problems, seize opportunity, and embrace a brighter future.

That’s what the Build Back Better Act is all about.

It calls for $555 billion in climate investment—the largest ever—to help us get more clean power from the wind and sun, speed the shift to electric vehiclesto make our homes, workplaces and lives more efficient. It invests in public transit and affordable housing. cutting pollution in disadvantaged communities. It will create millions more jobs, even for those who choose union representation.

It will also dramatically reduce other harmful air pollution because carbon emissions can be cut. asthma attacksheart diseaseMissed days at school or work, and even premature deaths. These maladies affect everyone, but they are particularly severe for low-income communities and people of colour who experience higher levels of polluting than their white counterparts.

The Build Back Better Act is the centerpiece of President Biden’s climate strategy to cut greenhouse gases 50–52 percentDeliver 80 percent clean electricity by 2030 

To get it done, we’ll also need ambitious new federal standards to cut carbon pollution and protect public health. We’ll need our public lands and federal ocean waters to become part of the climate fix, not the problem. And we’ll need to align the policies, decisions, and actions of every federal agency with our national climate goals.

That’s the grand strategic vision Biden brings to the climate fight. It all starts with the Build back Better Act, which the House passed Friday.

It provides the largest public investment in the history of the electric power sector to clean it up. nearly a third of the nation’s carbon footprint.To address the climate crisis, we must reduce carbon pollution. The Build Back better Act provides strong incentives to utility companies to do so by shifting to renewable energy sources like sun and wind.

In the last decade, wind and solar power have grown fivefold, together accounting for 12 percent of the nation’s electricity, as costs have fallen, respectively, 70 percent and 90 percent in that same time. 

The Build Back better Act will continue to build on this momentum and propel forward. It includes investments for research and development that will help us drive the innovation necessary to make America the global leader in wind and sun power, electricity transmissions and storage, as well as other transformative clean energy technologies. 

NRDC analysis shows that if enacted the Build Back better Act will create up to 3 million high-quality domestic jobs and add up to $445 billion to America’s economy by 2030.

The second key to reducing our carbon footprint is installing solar panels on our homes and putting electric cars and light truck on the roads. The Build Back Better Act provides tax credits that can reduce the cost of installing solar panels on rooftops by around 30% and offset the price of an electric car by upto $12,500 for a family of middle-class people who buy a U.S.-made vehicle made by union workers.

Rooftop solar panels for energy efficient homes in Red Oak Park, Boulder Colorado

Dennis Schroeder/NREL, 45211

The bill also increases investment to help weatherize homes, and puts energy efficiency within reach of low-income and middle class families, contributing to an estimated $500 per household in annual savings on energy bills. And it provides historic investments to improve lives—and save lives—for low-income communities and people of color on the frontlines of climate hazard and harm.

The bill offers incentives to support the strengthening of the domestic supply chain for solar power and wind energy in disadvantaged communities. It calls for significant investments to improve public transit service and access to affordable mobility, especially for the 60 percent of riders who are people of color. 

A worker installs a charging station for electric busses at the Transit Center in Honolulu

It will be a great help reconnect low-income communities that were gutted decades ago by misguided highway roads. It will coordinate public transportation access with investment in low income housing. It will do this by bundling preservation and construction of affordable homes with new, enhanced bus stops and train stations. 

All of this matters if we’re serious about addressing inequality, creating jobs, strengthening the economy, and confronting the climate crisis. That’s what the Build Back Better Act will do, thanks to the House members who passed it.

However, it will only be possible if the Senate follows their lead. 

Climate change is the greatest existential threat of our time. The Build Back better Act is the central component of a grand national strategy that addresses this challenge. It will create jobs, strengthen the economy, and invest in a more healthy, more equitable, and promising future. 

That’s what voters expect from Congress. The House delivered on Friday—it’s time for the Senate to do the same.


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