Build Back Better Is Popular! It’s Time to Get It Done
I know we’re reading the same headlines: record setting extreme weather in nearly every region of the country; its impacts on our most vulnerable citizens including the elderly and children, and communities of color who are experiencing them first and worst; and the rising costs of just about everything - from food to gas to heating oil.
Despite what the headlines would have you believe, it’s not all doom and gloom. We have a real opportunity right now to make lasting progress and help families across the country thrive. But we need Congress to act, and act now with bold leadership. The Build Back Better Act, in its current form, contains investments in clean energy and climate solutions at the level we need to deliver real and lasting results for hardworking families and protect our environment for generations to come. It’s the necessary next step following the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that already is moving much-needed resources into our communities.
The good news, and one that should embolden President Biden and Congressional leaders to act with urgency, is that the climate and clean energy provisions in Build Back Better are popular with a large swath of voters representing different ages, political persuasions, and races. Our new poll shows that three-in-five voters support Congress passing the Build Back Better Act, including 70% of millennial voters, 70% Hispanic voters, 74% Black voters, 67% of moderates and 58% of suburbanites. Their support for the Act increases as they learn that the clean energy investments will lead to energy savings, lower harmful air pollution, and address climate change head on.
Specifically, the provisions in the current version of Build Back Better, like investments in energy efficiency and tax credits, will mean households will be able to save up to $500 a year on energy costs. On top of this, there is a specific tax credit, of up to $12,500, to help make it more affordable for consumers to purchase an electric vehicle–and save money on gas and oil changes! and maintenance.
We also know that the clean energy incentives in Build Back Better will be a boon for our economy. It will help states accelerate the transition to renewable electricity, creating thousands of new, good paying manufacturing jobs, and jobs tied to installing large and small-scale renewable energy projects.
States across the country are seeing the growth potential of the clean energy sector. Texas is ranked second in the nation for clean energy employment with 223,406 jobs; increased investments in the state could create more than 1.1 million jobs over the next 25 years. Arizona is ranked fifth in the nation for solar energy installations with over 175,000 solar projects installed and employing over 7,300 people. Meanwhile, Georgia is positioning itself to be a ‘world leader’ in electric vehicles and electric mobility, landing major investments by battery and electric vehicle manufacturers including a major manufacturer of electric school buses. And the list goes on. Coast-to-coast, clean energy is the largest growing jobs sector, and it’s opening up economic opportunities for our communities. That’s why we need Congress to act now and help foster this growth.
Climate action simply cannot wait. Since 1980, we have experienced a four-fold increase in extreme weather events, and since 2005, the federal government has spent at least $450 billion on disaster assistance. And no state is immune. All 50 states have experienced this extreme weather in one form or another – from more intense hurricanes and extreme flooding to dire droughts and severe wildfires. But with bold action that will dramatically cut climate pollution, we can tackle the problem head on.
The window for action is now. Voters expect leaders in Washington to seize this moment and lock in the clean energy investments in Build Back Better so we can accelerate climate progress and create economic opportunity for our families and communities. Inaction, frankly, is not an option.