Issue Report
For Immediate Release: 
December 3, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
In November, House Democrats passed the Build Back Better Act, hailed as one of the largest climate commitments in American history. Provisions in the bill will help address the climate crisis, bring down energy costs for middle-class families, advance environmental justice, create a domestic supply chain for clean energy technologies that creates good-paying jobs for our nation’s workers, and expand on the climate resilience priorities championed in the bipartisan infrastructure law signed into law on November 15.

Addressing the Climate Crisis: Extreme weather, a warming climate, and shifting weather patterns caused by climate change are already having a harmful impact on communities across the country, affecting agricultural productivity, mortality, crime, energy use, storm activity, and coastal inundation. Studies show that unabated climate change could have a significant economic effect, potentially shrinking the U.S. economy by an annual 1-4% by the end of the 21st century. Reducing Energy Costs for Middle-Class Families: Last year, nearly 30% of Americans reported forgoing basic household expenses to pay their energy bills. Recent studies have attributed this cost burden to energy-inefficient housing, which increases the cost burden of energy bills on low and middle-income families, who often live in homes with “bad insulation or outdated-heating or air conditioning systems.”
  • Through consumer rebates and tax credits included in the legislation, the average American family will save hundreds of dollars in energy costs annually. The legislation expands existing home energy tax credits that promote efficient energy use while creating a rebate program that focuses on electrification, which will advance the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2030.
Advancing Environmental Justice: America’s legacy of racial and class discrimination has resulted in generational health and economic disparities caused in part by environmental racism. People of color are disproportionately affected by climate change, which has already caused economic impacts across the country as communities face the health and infrastructure impacts of extreme weather events such as drought, heat, and floods. Disproportionately, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities live in America’s most polluted environments. These communities often have higher rates of cancer, greater likelihoods of birth defects, and other health impacts.                                                            
  • The Build Back Better Act would create a new Civilian Climate Corps that will create over 300,000 good-paying jobs to advance climate initiatives, help communities transition to clean energy, and build climate-resilient infrastructure in communities across the country.
  • Provisions in the Build Back Better Act would also create a Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator that will work on climate infrastructure projects throughout the country, with a commitment to delivering 40% of investment benefits in historically disadvantaged communities. The accelerator will also drive private investment in projects that advance America’s climate goals, yielding benefits for all Americans and it could create over 4 million jobs for American workers.
Creating a Domestic Supply Chain for Clean Energy Technology: Currently, the United States’ renewable energy sector is highly dependent on foreign supply chains, leaving our clean energy goals susceptible to supply shocks. 
  • The Build Back Better Act includes targeted incentives for domestic clean energy business development and manufacturing, which will not only create good-paying jobs here at home, but also increase the supply of clean energy technology to aid Americans in transitioning to clean energy. This policy will also boost the competitiveness of existing American industries such as steel, cement, and aluminum, creating economic benefits for American workers.
     
  • The legislation also provides incentives for the government to procure clean energy technology for infrastructure projects, advancing the Biden Administration’s climate goals.
Expanding on Climate Resilience Priorities in the Infrastructure Law: Extreme weather events caused by climate change have become more severe and more frequent. These events not only make our communities less safe, but can have widespread economic impacts, with the financial loss to American taxpayers totaling more than $99 billion in 2020.
  • The Build Back Better Act would fund climate resilience initiatives to upgrade critical infrastructure to ensure that state and local governments can meet the needs of their communities in extreme weather events and promote natural solutions to climate change through coastal restoration, forest management, and soil conservation.
Click here to read the PDF.

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