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November 1, 2021
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
RE: Support H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act of 2021
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) believes that everyone has a right to clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate protected by a just and equitable democracy. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.
LCV urges you to vote YES on H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, the most significant climate legislation in American history. As our nation and the world are already experiencing the deadly and devastating impacts of the climate crisis, and as we reckon with longstanding environmental and racial injustice and economic inequality, it’s never been more important or more urgent for Congress to make transformational progress. The Build Back Better Act passes the climate test and puts the United States on the path to cutting our climate pollution in half by 2030 while investing directly into communities of color too often left behind and creating good-paying union jobs. As a result, following on our September 7 letter, for only the second time in our history the League of Conservation Voters’ connected political committee, LCV Action Fund will only consider endorsements for members of Congress in the 2022 election cycle or their next election who support the Build Back Better Act.
This transformational legislation invests $555 billion in climate, jobs, and justice. At the center of these investments is a robust ten-year set of tax incentives totaling $320 billion for clean energy and manufacturing, transmission, electric vehicles, innovative technologies, and energy efficiency that will save households hundreds of dollars annually, are tied to strong labor provisions and support domestic manufacturing. The bill prioritizes environmental justice through investments such as environmental and climate justice block grants, funding for reducing toxic air and water pollution, electrifying ports, trucks, buses and transit, and a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that delivers 40% of investments to disadvantaged communities, all of which help meet President Biden’s Justice40 initiative. It also bans new oil and gas leasing off the East coast, West coast, and eastern Gulf of Mexico, funds replacement of lead pipes and clean water infrastructure, reduces methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, restores protections to the Arctic Refuge, invests in resiliency with climate-smart agriculture and coastal restoration, and so much more.
While we have some serious concerns about some provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R.3684), the legislation includes important funding for clean energy research, development, and demonstration, grid modernization, and resiliency, as well as funding for lead pipe replacements, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and EV school buses. It is clear that the Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act must move forward together; we therefore urge all members of Congress to vote for both bills.
We urge you in the strongest possible terms to support H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act. While our normal procedure is to send a letter to the full House of Representatives when a floor vote is imminent and note a given vote will be considered for inclusion in the National Environmental Scorecard, in this instance we want to state unequivocally that we will score this historic vote in the 2021 Scorecard. If you need more information, please reach out to a member of our Government Relations team.