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Washington, DC––Today, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and a group of seven moderate Senate Democrats joined Climate Power and the League of Conservation Voters to call on the Senate to pass the Build Back Better Act without delay.
The Senators spoke of climate driven-wildfires and sea-level rise affecting their states, and to the opportunities in manufacturing, conservation, and agriculture that transitioning to clean energy offers our economy. As Sen. Tim Kaine said, “We’re each telling our own state’s story, but there is a common problem and a common solution – and that’s climate action now.”
On the heels of its passage through the House, the Build Back Better Act remains overwhelmingly popular with the public. Studies show that it will save families $500 per year in energy costs, and its investments in clean energy will deliver on the president’s promise of good-paying jobs and justice for historically disadvantaged communities who face the brunt of pollution and extreme weather. Now all that stands between the American people and these life-changing benefits is for the Senate to send the Build Back Better Act to the President’s desk, which they must do as soon as possible.
“The Senate can and must pass the Build Back Better Act,” said LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “Doing so is critical to saving people money on their energy bills and other monthly expenses, investing in the frontline and communities of color that have suffered the most from toxic pollution, and creating and sustaining millions of good-paying union jobs in the clean energy economy.
“Climate change is an issue for which the sense of urgency is growing every single day, every single minute,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow. “We’ve seen what happens when we have a global supply chain breakdown. If we aren’t making the batteries and semiconductors here, we don’t have the good-paying jobs, and frankly, we can’t make the vehicles here. So the clean energy manufacturing efforts in Build Back Better are also incredibly important. We as Democrats are committed to doing that in partnership with President Joe Biden.”
“This year was our 44th harvest, and I can tell you unequivocally, this was the worst harvest we’ve ever had,” said Sen. Jon Tester. “Everybody west of the Mississippi was affected by a drought this year that was catastrophic—that cost taxpayers billions and billions of dollars of catastrophic assistance. We need to get this done. If we don’t do something about climate change and start today with real solutions, there’s going to be a lot of hungry people in this world.”
“Why is this important? Because it creates jobs,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “It will prepare us not only for the 21st century but to compete in this country, by bringing the jobs and the supply chain here. That is so important for the United States moving forward. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Act are going to lead us into these opportunities that are so good for our families.”
“We in Colorado spent much of last summer indoors because there were so many health warnings about wildfire smoke,” said Sen. Michael Bennet. “We cannot accept this as a permanent state of affairs in our state. This is not some distant future issue that we’re dealing with. This is something that we have to deal with today, and it’s hurting our economy and hurting our health today, and that’s why we have to act urgently.”
“1.7 million people live in Hampton Roads, Virginia, which is the second most vulnerable city to sea-level rise in the eastern United States. Sea level rise isn’t a tomorrow issue in Hampton Roads,” said Sen. Tim Kaine. “This is not a tomorrow issue, it’s a today issue with impact on our quality of life and our military readiness in the center of naval power. Congress now has to do our part, and our part is passing the Build Back Better Act.”
Sen. Tom Carper said “Passing the Build Back Better Act can’t come soon enough, because we know that the climate crisis is not just something that’s off in the future, it’s right here in our faces and we need to do something about it now. The good news is we can do something about it and create millions of jobs at a time we have millions of people who would like to have a great job.”
“We are going to pass Build Back Better this month,” said Sen. Bob Casey. “And one of the reasons for urgency is to finally at long last make the investment in combatting climate change that we’ve been talking about for so long. Finally, we’re at the point we can say we’re acting to conserve God’s creation.”
“I recently returned from heading a delegation at COP26, and one of the most important things we heard from around the world is that the US needs to show commitment, capacity, engagement on climate,” said Sen. Chris Coons. “One of the most important things we can do in the coming days is to pass the BBB legislation.”