Memo: Build Back Better — Centering Clean Energy, Justice, and Jobs is Good Policy and Good Politics

Courtnee Connon, 727-744-4163, courtnee_connon@lcv.org

To: Interested Parties
From: Pete Maysmith, SVP of Campaigns, LCV 
Date: March 30, 2021
Re: Build Back Better: Centering Clean Energy, Justice, and Jobs is Good Policy and Good Politics

Our country needs to recover, and as we do we must make sure that recovery is rooted in clean energy, justice and high-quality, union jobs. But this approach isn’t just good policy, we know this is good politics too: Not only do voters believe this administration has a mandate to act, they overwhelmingly support transformational clean energy investments as part of President Biden’s Build Back Better recovery plan.

  • Our March poll with Climate Power from Hart Research Associates found that nearly 7 in 10 voters nationally and in battleground states believe Congress should pass Biden’s plan to Build Back Better, which will create millions of new good-paying jobs, tackle the climate crisis, and build our economy back better than before.
  • In fact, our research showed clean energy investments DRIVE support for the plan, and, what’s more, the typical attacks from the fossil fuel industry fall flat with voters — 66% still say that the emphasis on clean energy investments makes them more likely to support the plan.
  • And a new Climate Power/Data for Progress poll found that 67% of voters say the federal government should be doing more to modernize American infrastructure and 73% say it is time for Congress to invest in infrastructure.
  • Governors are also supportive of bold action. In fact, 13 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have taken legislative or executive action toward a 100% clean energy future.
  • Even the oil industry sees the writing on the wall, though it remains to be seen if the American Petroleum Institute’s recent embrace of carbon pricing is a political feint or a genuine evolution of policy. 

Politically, Biden’s Build Back Better plan has bipartisan support, similar to the American Rescue Plan.

  • Our polling, referenced above, shows that very conservative Republicans oppose the plan by a wide margin, yet all other Republicans (those who describe themselves as somewhat conservative or moderate) are evenly divided over it. 
  • Post-election polling from GSG and Normington Petts showed 96% of Democrats and 65% of independents supported Biden’s clean energy and infrastructure plans.
  • Additionally, recent Navigator polling shows Democrats, independents and Republicans support an infrastructure bill, and 50% of Republicans support investments in clean energy like wind and solar.  
  • Data for Progress and Climate Power’s research shows that 58% of Republicans agree that we need “ambitious infrastructure investments to create an equitable, sustainable and stronger nation.”
  • New polling out today from Nexus Polling, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 58% of voters agreed that Democrats should “use their majority in Congress to pass this legislation even if no Republicans will vote for it.”

More voters than ever understand the investments this moment demands — members of Congress who support a plan that centers clean energy, justice and jobs will find themselves with the political winds at their backs. 

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