Politics We can and will meet the climate test in the Build Back Better Act
If the U.S. Spends Big on Climate, the Rest of the World Might Follow
If the U.S. Spends Big on Climate, the Rest of the World Might Follow“It seems to me quite shocking,” says Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland who now works on climate issues as the chair of the Elders. To have West Virginia’s continued reliance on coal “holding up a really important bill for the United States is frustrating to observe.
If you read the headlines right now you might think Democrats can't agree on anything - in fact, that could not be further from the truth. The real story is that congressional Democrats, from all parts of this country and from every conference in our Caucus, are almost unanimous in our support of the reconciliation bill called the Build Back Better Act and delivering the climate investments needed to meet the goals that science and public health demand.
We all represent diverse districts and diverse constituencies. Some of us represent progressive and very liberal leaning districts; some of us represent districts that voted for us and Donald Trump. We don't agree on every topic before Congress and occasionally find ourselves on the other side from one another on issues. That's why it's so important that we write this collectively, to collectively encourage our colleagues to make climate a bedrock investment in reconciliation.
Climate vs. jobs: How Democrats talk about policy proposals may make the difference
Democrats appear set to jettison the cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda, but conservatives may have some answers about how to revive it.It isn't surprise coming from Manchin, who famously ran for re-election in 2010 with a TV ad in which he literally shot his party's last major legislative attempt to control greenhouse gas emissions.
The reconciliation bill is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to put millions of people to work in new good-paying union jobs in the clean energy economy while tackling climate change. But our window to act is closing. It's time to meet the climate test with the Build Back Better Act and get this bill to President Biden's desk - to ensure we have the provisions in place to protect our planet.
Meeting the climate test means cutting our emissions in half by 2030. Scientists and experts agree that this is the only way to equitably slow the effects of climate change. A budget that meets the climate test requires many different federal and state investments and policy tools. It is our job now as elected leaders to come to agreement and put our country on the path to reducing carbon emissions and meeting the climate test.
Biden can’t afford to repeat Obama’s mistakes on climate policy
It’s not too late for Democrats to go big on climate change. But it won’t be easy, and there’s no margin for error.One of the most impactful climate policies that Congress has ever considered, the clean electricity payment program (CEPP), is on the chopping block. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) says he will not support a bill that penalizes coal and natural gas for the outsized role they play in US pollution. Democrats can’t pass their budget bill, the Build Back Better Act, without his support, and its size and scope has been shrinking.
We must meet the climate test in the Build Back Better Act because this summer of extreme weather events was absolutely devastating for our communities. New Jersey residents could not escape their flooded homes, they lost their lives in Hurricane Ida, and communities suffered from washed-out roads and major power outages. The climate resiliency provisions, Superfund clean-up, plus the electric vehicle infrastructure and resources to remove lead from drinking water - all included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill - are also critical in this fight. In Texas, a just said that after successive summers of extreme heat, El Pasoans can expect the number of 100 degree days to double in the next 15 years. In Oregon, , and drought is threatening our farmers and their agricultural products.
Across the country, extreme weather this year has already cost us . It doesn't have to be this way. Through the Build Back Better Act's investments in clean energy, clean energy tax credits, and by making polluters pay, we can move the country off of fossil fuels to clean, affordable energy sources that will slow the effects of the climate crisis and put us on track to a safer, healthier future.
What U.S.-China tension means for fighting climate change
The rest of the world may suffer the consequences if the U.S. and China don't work together on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. What's clear, however, is that the dynamic between the U.S. and China has shifted dramatically in the last several years. "We are fundamentally in a very different era,” said Thom Woodroofe, a fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute and former climate diplomat. Before the Paris summit in 2015, Woodroofe said, negotiations between Washington and Beijing produced a joint announcement that was an "absolute game changer.
Passing the climate test isn't only about averting the worst impacts of climate change and toxic pollution - the Build Back Better Act is also our country's chance to build a thriving clean energy economy, create good paying jobs, and lower costs for working families. In fact, out this month found that meeting our 2030 emissions reductions target will save households $500 a year on energy costs. And from manufacturing electric vehicles and building EV charging stations to upgrading buildings and weatherizing homes, there are new, good jobs for everyone in the clean energy economy and the resources to help workers get the skills they need.
We simply can't wait any longer to create a safe, healthy, equitable, affordable clean energy future. And with the international climate negotiations in Glasgow fast approaching, the whole world is counting on President Biden and Congress to act now. If we're expecting other countries to step up to the plate with strong climate commitments, the United States has to pass the climate test and lead by example.
The question of whether or not we take the climate action needed to improve people's lives and protect the future of our planet is not a "progressive" or "moderate" question - it's a choice between doing the right thing or leaving our communities to deal with the repercussions we already see happening across the world. This piece of legislation, right now, is our chance to tackle climate change and take substantial steps to help save our planet. It's on us to take this opportunity upon ourselves and pass the Build Back Better Act now.
Veronica Escobar represents the 16th District of Texas, Josh Gottheimer represents the 5th District of New Jersey, Andy Kim represents the 3rd District of New Jersey and Suzanne Bonamici represents Oregon's 1st District.
Biden heads into international climate negotiations with a weak hand .
American politics are undermining the global fight against climate change — again.It’s almost exactly a year since the Trump administration officially, though temporarily, withdrew the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Since Biden’s inauguration, the new administration has had nine months to piece together a plan for the climate negotiations in Glasgow that shows the US is making concrete progress on its domestic pollution.