BBBA framework comments from climate advocacy, environmental justice, and public health leaders

October 28th, 2021
Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

President Joe Biden has announced a framework agreement for the Build Back Better Act, delivering historic investments in climate action, clean energy, and environmental justice. The BBBA will create jobs and drive economic opportunity while cutting the carbon pollution that causes climate change. The following is a collection of attributable comments from climate advocacy, environmental justice, and public health leaders from major organizations.

“While wildfires ravage the west, extreme weather pummels the East and flooding and droughts destroy lives and livelihoods in every corner of the country, time is running out to take action. People across the country are affected by climate disasters and are demanding that our leaders act on climate change. We need more clean energy, the jobs that a clean economy will deliver, and we need to right the wrongs of decades of environmental injustice. Congress can and should do all of that and more with the big, bold investments in the Build Back Better Act. Congress must move swiftly to advance this bill and deliver for all of us.” ​Margie Alt, Director, Climate Action Campaign

“The Build Back Better Act represents a significant step toward a healthier, safer and more stable future. By making major investments in the transportation, electric power and industrial sectors — the three biggest sources of climate pollution — the framework announced today will accelerate our transition to a clean economy that delivers millions of new jobs, fights climate change and promotes a healthier and more equitable America. Congress must act quickly and deliver results.” Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund

"The Build Back Better Act is our best chance to address climate change in a significant way and on the necessary nationwide scale. Physicians for Social Responsibility urges Congress to take the steps we so urgently need, supporting large-scale investments in clean, no-carbon energy, clean energy jobs, and environmental justice for heavily impacted communities. This will help bring our nation and our world closer to securing a healthy, livable climate.” Barbara Gottlieb, Environment & Health Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility

“It is the moral responsibility of our nation, and our sacred task as people of faith, to care for our neighbors, our common home, and to protect our children’s future. The faith community has called on Congress to deliver bold climate and environmental justice investments that match the scale of the climate crisis and our communities’ needs. The Build Back Better Act is a good start to delivering those investments, but we know more is needed to safeguard Creation and to achieve justice for the communities, disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and people of color, who are bearing the brunt of fossil fuel pollution. We now look to Congress to pass this bill with urgency and continue to take action to address the climate crisis at the scale it needs to be addressed. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration on its “whole of government” approach, and additional actions to curb emissions from vehicles, oil and gas infrastructure, and other sources.” Rev. Susan Hendershot, Interfaith Power & Light

“As clean energy businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs continue working hard to deliver the most innovative and accessible clean energy technologies to the American people, President Biden and Congress have an opportunity to accelerate the growth of this critical sector of our economy by delivering historic long-term investments in clean energy in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). The clean energy sector already supports millions of jobs and the BBBA will create as many as 679,000 new good paying jobs annually, for both big and small businesses, while lowering energy bills to save families money. Congress must act now to pass the Build Back Better Act and deliver bold investments in clean energy to the American people. There’s no time to waste.” Andrew Reagan, Executive Director of Clean Energy for America.

“Hispanic Access Foundation encourages Congress to pass strong, equitable climate investments in the Build Back Better Act. From its root causes to end results, the climate crisis has harmed Latinos and other communities of color disproportionately. From on- and offshore drilling that overwhelmingly pollutes our communities, to the burning of oil and gas on our highways and power plants located disproportionately close to neighborhoods of color, to the storms, drought, extreme heat, and out-of-control wildfires caused by increasing global temperatures – our communities are impacted at every step, and our health is at risk. It is urgent for Congress and the Biden administration to fix this system with bold action, before our climate and our families suffer even more consequences.” Maite Arce, President & CEO, Hispanic Access Foundation

“The Latinx community is experiencing the burden of the climate crisis head-on. Our community is experiencing disproportionate rates of asthma due to the air pollution where we live, as well as extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, and more phenomena caused by the climate crisis. Congress must pass a budget that makes significant investments that cut pollution, create good union jobs, is focused on environmental justice, and tackles the climate crisis. We need to overhaul our view on climate and take real action NOW by telling Congress to Build Back Better.” Yadira Sanchez, Co-Executive Director of Poder Latinx

“We have seen extreme weather from coast to coast this year that has rung alarms to many individuals. Climate disasters drastically affect people’s livelihoods, and we are demanding that our lawmakers address these issues. We need climate solutions that will not act as a band-aid but address the root of the problems and work on equitable solutions. Congress has that opportunity by supporting the Build Back Better Act and using this as a step towards a better future.” Meisei Gonzalez, Healthy Environment Alliance Of Utah

“Corazon Latino has been vocal in its support for strategic investment in the Latino community through the protection of Madre Tierra and the creation of clean energy jobs. The proposed legislation provides the path forward that we need to launch an equitable economic recovery and ensure the environmental progress that will allow our families the best opportunities to thrive. We cannot delay the passing of this legislation; a better future is on the horizon for our nation and the Latino community with the Build Back Better Plan.” Felipe Benitez, Executive Director, Corazon Latino

“We have seen how climate change is a threat multiplier and those security threats are now affecting the US every day. Like many veterans, I was not surprised to see the The National Intelligence Estimate on Climate Change and the Department of Defense Climate Risk Analysis, overwhelmingly define climate change as a national security threat. Lawmakers who live and work in their communities can only do so much to protect us from the clear and present dangers of the climate crisis without the resources in The Build Back Better Act. The good news is that with this act we have the opportunity to boost our economy, make us more secure and improve the health of our communities.” Alex Cornell du Houx, Marine veteran, fmr. Maine state Rep., and President of Elected Officials to Protect America.

“In Michigan, business and community leaders understand the need to address climate change and fix our broken infrastructure. Sustainability and sustainable business are important in this state, and we want to build back with an economy that is just and resilient. We simply cannot achieve that when there are neighborhoods under water or not able to access safe drinking water. This is a good step toward the investments that our communities and economy need.” Daniel Schoonmaker, Executive Director, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum

“Our country and communities are changing due to more intensified hurricanes, record temperatures, and more frequent wildfires caused by human-generated carbon pollution. People’s lives and livelihoods are being disrupted and lost. The compounding effects of environmental racism, systemic brutality, and the pandemic are devastating Black communities. Green The Church is doing its part as a national faith-based organization to serve and care for our congregations and marginalized communities during these times. But the urgent challenges call for more. We need a concerned Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act. We need comprehensive policies that move the country from injustices to environmental justice by focusing on job creation, clean-energy production, and investments in marginalized urban and rural communities. Build Back Better is a pathway to change we need Congress to deliver for the country.” Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Founder, Green The Church

“The Build Back Better Framework announced by President Biden today is an astonishingly big deal. $555 billion dedicated to climate action is the largest investment in world history and puts us squarely on the path to reduce emissions by 52% by 2030, while centering equity at home and restoring U.S. leadership around the globe. The president has always said that when he thinks about climate change, he thinks about jobs, and this framework delivers on that vision by creating millions of good paying jobs manufacturing and deploying clean energy and cleaner products, confronting long-standing environmental injustices, and restoring natural infrastructure to bolster community resilience. After months of negotiations, President Biden and congressional Democrats are on the verge of delivering on their ambitious promises to workers, wildlife, and future generations.” Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

“The administration’s Build Back Better framework announced today would be a vital step toward restoring American leadership on climate and our competitiveness in the global economy. The $555 billion in climate-related spending over the next ten years would constitute the nation’s largest-ever investment in a low-carbon, resilient, prosperous future, and would be a vital down payment on the emissions reductions needed to achieve our ambitious and necessary goal of cutting climate pollution 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade.

“The clean energy tax credits have always promised to be the workhorse of the climate legislation under consideration over these past months, and they remain as the centerpiece of this package – providing the certainty and support that companies and investors need to move private capital off the sidelines and into investments in wind, solar, battery storage, clean energy manufacturing, and other zero-carbon solutions. Funding for climate resilience will also be crucial, and should be directed to the most vulnerable communities that are not only at greatest risk from climate harm but have borne the brunt of pollution in the past.

“Even with this historic investment, there is much more to be done to meet our goals and put the nation on the path to a thriving net-zero economy. More policies will be needed to accelerate that transition, take advantage of the economic opportunity it represents, and ensure that every community benefits. An escalating, economy-wide price on carbon pollution remains a critical component of any effective suite of policies to cut emissions, spur innovation and deployment of new technologies, and boost American competitiveness in the global economy.” Nathaniel Keohane, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

“Today’s announcement by President Biden on the Build Back Better (BBB) Framework is good news. The historic $555 billion investment in climate action lays a sound foundation for continuing the fight to defend God’s children at home and around the world. The President and climate champions in Congress fought tirelessly — and successfully — to keep climate funding almost entirely intact from the original BBB proposal. They deserve huge congratulations from all corners working to preserve a safe and healthy climate for our children. The estimated gigaton of carbon reductions by 2030 puts the US on solid footing to hit the target of 50% CO2 reductions by 2030 from 2005 levels and the ultimate goal of net-zero by 2050. With climate-fueled extreme weather already battering American communities, businesses and families at an ever-increasing rate, the best climate legislation is the legislation we can put in place right now and without delay. The need is great and we don’t have time to wait.

“It’s an historic beginning, but the fight isn’t over. The Evangelical Environmental Network promises to continue the good fight. We will do all we can do with God’s help to deliver more solutions both policy and individual actions that will secure a stable climate and sustainable family supporting jobs for all.” The Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/C.E.O., The Evangelical Network.

“Global warming affects each and every one of us, and as long as we keep powering our lives with dirty fossil fuels, it will only get worse. But a better future is within reach. By switching to clean, renewable energy, we can ensure clean air and a stable climate for future generations. This summer, nearly one in three Americans experienced a natural disaster made worse by climate change but nearly one in three of us also now live in a state committed to reaching 100% clean power. The Build Back Better Act includes historic investments to make these clean energy goals a reality, including tax credits for solar panels and electric vehicles. On behalf of Environment America’s 29 state offices and our members in every state, we thank President Biden, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and all the members of Congress who came together to act on climate. We urge Congress to move forward as swiftly as the climate crisis demands.” Wendy Wendlandt, President, Environment America

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