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US House Passes Bill with Historic Investments in Climate Action and Environmental Justice

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The U.S. House has passed the Build Back Better Act—legislation that would launch the United States toward a clean energy economy, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), making historic investments in clean energy and transportation, climate-resilient agriculture, and environmental justice.

Below is a statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, president of UCS.

“It’s a relief and thrill to see the House pass this transformative bill. This legislation would help address climate change through vital tax credits and incentives that would get more clean energy on the grid and electrify cars, buses and trucks. It would put a significant dent in U.S. emissions and be the most far-reaching climate legislation our country has enacted to date. This foundation would position the United States to do more in the years ahead to further reduce heat-trapping emissions in line with what science shows is necessary.

“If this bill becomes law its benefits will be evident as clean energy jobs are created, heavily polluted neighborhoods are cleaned up, electric vehicles become more commonplace in all communities, and farms become more resilient to the droughts and floods that are now more frequent and severe due to climate change.

“The substantial investments the Build Back Better Act makes in predominantly Black, Brown and Indigenous communities that continue to suffer from systemic discrimination and disproportionate amounts of pollution marks a turning point in Congress’ recognition of the environmental injustices and the loss of land and capital that these communities have suffered.

“Securing the Build Back Better Act would be a historic and hard-fought win for the broad and diverse climate justice movement in the face of relentless opposition from fossil fuel interests. Today is a moment to recognize the power of collective action and celebrate the benefits this legislation would bring to people around the country. We look forward to the Senate passing this bill expeditiously.

“In the years ahead, we will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with scientists, local community groups, farmers, labor groups, business leaders, and others to secure the additional action that will be needed to cut emissions as deeply and quickly as science indicates must occur and to meet the United States’ contribution to global climate goals.”