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Reps. Castor, Dingell, Horsford, Casten and Labor and Environment Leaders Call for Ambitious investments in Jobs, Justice and Climate in the Build Back Better Budget

Aug 23, 2021

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Washington, D.C. — Labor and Environmental leaders joined Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), and Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) today to call on Congress to make bold investments in the build back better budget that deliver for workers, communities, and climate change.

WATCH: Event recording from C-SPAN

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a sweeping budget proposal that will deliver investments designed to create jobs and build the economy back better by accelerating clean energy development and deployment and tackling the climate crisis.

“From fighting climate change and creating clean energy jobs, to cutting taxes for the middle class and lowering costs for working families, we must seize this opportunity to improve the lives of people across the country,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “It has never been more urgent or more important to act on climate at the scale that science and justice require.”

“We must heed the grave warnings in the latest IPCC report and take immediate, transformational action to solve the climate crisis,” said Rep. Castor, Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. “There is no more time for half measures. Pollution is destroying communities, taking lives, and dumping the costs of the climate crisis on those who can least afford them. Congress must step up to make generational investments that will employ Americans as we expand clean electricity, secure clean air and water, and manufacture electric vehicles. It’s not too late to reverse the worst impacts of the climate crisis, but our only hope is to act with urgency – and we must get this right.”

“Michigan has had five storms in just six weeks that should only happen once in a lifetime. My hometown has been particularly hit with repeated flooding and loss of electricity. More than 20,000 homes have been damaged in just Dearborn. We have wildfires in the west and hurricanes and massive flooding in other states as well. Global climate change is real,” said Rep. Dingell. “We must use this once in a generation opportunity to build back better. We need to upgrade our power grid, move from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles, get lead our of water pipes for every school child in America, support manufacturing and bring back our supply chain, and ensure every home in America from urban, to suburban, to rural has access to high speed internet. We must ensure that America stays competitive and we cannot wait another minute to act.”

“From 2010 to 2020, Nevada suffered from twelve extreme weather events, costing our state up to $1 billion dollars in damages. The time for climate action is now — and Americans are counting on Congress to make big, bold investments to protect our planet and rebuild our economy from the pandemic,” said Rep. Horsford. “President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda offers a historic opportunity to create millions of good-paying union jobs, invest in clean energy, and build a stronger future for working families. We must get this done.”

“The recent IPCC report wasn’t just a code red for humanity, it was a stark reminder for lawmakers that the time for baffling half measures has come to a close. With deadly droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and flash floods devastating communities across the country, we’ve entered an era of consequences. From investing in American-made electric vehicles to passing a Clean Electricity Payment Program so that we can get to 100% clean electricity by 2035, we cannot afford to let this once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect families and small businesses, prevent economic catastrophe, create jobs, and grow our economy pass us by. With a climate champion in the White House and the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans, Congress has an obligation to do what’s scientifically necessary, no matter how politically difficult. Because the best time for climate action was decades ago, but our last chance is now,” said Rep. Casten.

The labor and environmental leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance and the Climate Action Campaign discussed how investments in America’s infrastructure, manufacturing, care economy, and clean energy and energy efficiency will reduce the pollution driving climate change, create good-paying, union jobs for workers across the country, and build a thriving and equitable clean economy for all.

“The bipartisan deal is a start, but it doesn’t go far enough in key areas—especially in investing in our schools and public buildings—and we need to be doing more,” said Tim Driscoll, president of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. “Building back better means modernizing and making our building stock energy efficient, healthy, and climate resilient, employing union workers so we know the job is done right the first time by skilled, trained craftspeople, and using materials and components needed to retrofit our schools and buildings manufactured here in America. We urge Congress to listen to the American people and pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the build back better budget now.”