Communities across the country are regularly feeling the impacts of the climate crisis, from wildfires, to extreme heat, to drought, flooding, and high-intensity hurricanes. In fact, 1 in 3 people living in the U.S. experienced climate-fueled weather disasters this summer. Simultaneously, far too many people have not recovered from this pandemic, leaving families across the country struggling to make ends meet.
The situation is dire, but there is a solution for both of these issues. Right now, the Build Back Better Act — the most significant climate and jobs legislation in our nation’s history — is in the U.S. Senate’s hands. This bill has already earned the support of the U.S. House because they understand that we cannot let this historic moment pass to invest in clean energy, monthly energy savings for families, good paying union jobs, and clean air and water for all.
The Build Back Better Act will save the average family $500 a year on their energy bills, with major investments in energy efficiency and clean energy. Other provisions in the bill like expanding the Child Tax Credit, capping the cost of childcare, expanding the Affordable Care Act, and closing the Medicaid coverage gap – will help bring down people’s everyday costs, saving the average family of four up to $7,400 a year in tax cuts and lower costs.
The Build Back Better Act also makes vital investments to modernize our economy and create millions of good-paying jobs. Together with the recently passed Infrastructure and Jobs Act, these bills would add nearly $3 trillion to the U.S. economy and create 1.5 million jobs a year over the next decade. That includes $110 billion in domestic manufacturing for clean energy technology, preparing America to lead the global clean energy market.
This overwhelmingly popular bill means lower prices, good-paying jobs, and a healthier, more equitable clean energy future. That is both good policy and good politics.
With all of these savings, it should come as no surprise that the Build Back Better Act is widely supported by voters across party lines. Nearly three-quarters of voters support the Build Back Better agenda after hearing the main provisions, costs, and tax components. And 75% of voters support investments to transition to clean energy. Even 55% of Republicans support making bold investments to tackle climate change.
We cannot afford not to pass this bill. The U.S. incurred $104 billion in damages from extreme weather disasters in the first eight months of 2021 alone. The cost of investing in climate action is minimal compared to the cost of inaction. We also know there is a political cost for those opposed to Build Back Better — people across the nation overwhelmingly support climate action, and they will hold members of Congress who side with fossil fuel CEOs over their communities accountable at the ballot box.
This legislation is about lowering costs for families and creating good-paying jobs. Period. There is nothing more bipartisan than that and the stakes could not be higher.
-Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters
The League of Conservation Voters is an advocacy group that seeks to build a world with clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate that are protected by a just and equitable democracy.