Washington, D.C. — In response to the announcement that bipartisan, bicameral agreement had been reached on an omnibus package of government spending, COVID-19 relief and other pending legislative items, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) issued the following statement from Legislative Director Matthew Davis:
“This year-end package takes critical steps forward in tackling climate change. It helps the U.S. to lead the way in limiting half a degree Celsius of warming with a long-sought deal to phase down super-pollutant HFCs in line with the Kigali agreement. It also includes the extension of tax credits for solar and onshore and offshore wind that are essential to our transition to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.
“While much more remains to be done, we are glad to see bipartisan agreement reached to fund the federal government and provide some relief for essential workers, transit agencies, and families hurting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately harming people of color. This package also ramps up clean energy research and development programs, bolsters energy efficiency, reauthorizes a critical EPA program to reduce diesel pollution, advances a new DOE program to transition to electric school buses, supports weatherization improvements for low income households, and rebukes Trump’s last attempts to slash environmental programs across the board.
“As with any large, bipartisan negotiated package, there are some aspects that we don’t support, including provisions to bolster dirty fossil fuels and untested nuclear technologies; however, its passage will provide a significant down payment and springboard for the Biden-Harris administration to tackle the inter-related climate and environmental justice crises.
“There is a lot more to be done – including utility shutoff moratoria, state, tribal, and local aid, universal vaccination availability, and frontline worker protections – to help communities, rebuild our economy to be cleaner and more equitable, and invest in green infrastructure in communities of color hit hardest by climate change and toxic pollution and to create good, family-sustaining union jobs. Right out of the gate in 2021, Congress and President-elect Biden will need to advance broader and bolder actions that accelerate an equitable transition to a 100% clean energy economy.”
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