It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

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It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

5 Ways the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Falls Short On Climate

The details are out on the bipartisan infrastructure deal struck between President Biden and senators, and, in short: it utterly fails to meet the moment on climate.

The framework falls short on nearly every important climate commitment the president laid out in the American Jobs Plan (AJP). It excludes proven and popular policies, like a federal clean electricity standard (CES), building energy upgrades, and a Civilian Climate Corps, and it is nowhere near sufficient to fulfill the president’s commitments on environmental justice.

The urgency of the climate crisis demands bold and immediate action to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution and confront systemic environmental injustices. With this agenda comes the incredible opportunity to create millions of good-paying jobs building a clean energy economy. However, across the board, the bipartisan deal fails to meet the moment, and fails to fulfill the president’s own commitments.

President Biden has committed that he will not sign a bipartisan infrastructure deal if it is not accompanied by legislation that fulfills his climate commitments. That pledge has also been made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). This memo lays out 5 ways that the bipartisan infrastructure deal falls completely short on climate, necessitating that the Biden White House and Democrats in Congress work together to realize bold climate, environmental justice and clean energy investments as part of a budget reconciliation package.

 

Side By Side: 5 Ways that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Falls Short of the Climate Commitments in the American Jobs Plan

 

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1. Clean Electricity Standard and Clean Electricity Tax Credits: $0 in the Bipartisan Deal vs. $359 billion in American Jobs Plan 

The AJP contains two critically-important policies to move the country toward 100% clean electricity by 2035: a federal Clean Electricity Standard (CES), which would press electric utilities to reach 80% clean energy by 2030, and ten-year extension of clean electricity investment and production tax credits, which would provide federal investments deploying job-creating renewable and clean energy projects. The AJP invests $359 billion in this agenda. And the budget framework put forward by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (D-VT) contains $375 billion toward these policies, with $225 billion for clean energy tax incentives and $150 billion for a Clean Electricity Payment Program that mimics the impact of a CES. Moving the country toward 100% clean electricity is one of the most important and urgent steps President Biden and Congress must take to confront our climate challenge, but the bipartisan infrastructure deal contains $0 toward this 100% clean electricity agenda.

 

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2. Electric vehicles: $174 billion in the AJP vs. $15 billion in the Bipartisan Deal

President Biden committed to invest in electric vehicle (EV) consumer incentives, manufacturing, a nationwide network of EV charging stations, and federal EV procurement such that the United States can reduce transportation sector pollution and win the global EV market. The president’s $174 billion proposal would create good union jobs, make EVs more accessible for working families, and affirm America’s status as a global leader in EV manufacturing and sales. This investment would create millions of jobs and kickstart the American economy. The bipartisan deal, by contrast, allocates just $7.5 billion to electrifying bus fleets and $7.5 billion to charging infrastructure, both thoroughly inadequate in the face of the challenges, and clean car opportunities that lay before the nation.

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June 2019: Theresa Landrum shows Gov. Jay Inslee the Marathon Refinery in southwest Detroit. The surrounding neighborhood is the most polluted zip code in the state.

3. Justice40: Not included in the Bipartisan Deal vs. included in the AJP

President Biden committed to ensure that at least 40% of the benefits from his administration’s climate investment agenda would flow directly to frontline environmental justice communities hardest hit by environmental harms, economic disinvestment, and climate change. The Justice40 commitment, which was also put forward in the Evergreen Action Plan, is critical to advance environmental justice and equitable economic opportunity in communities that have been overburdened by racist policymaking for generations. Policies that would help realize this commitment, for example, include $25 billion proposed in the AJP for a new Reconnecting Communities initiative, which would address racist policies that ran highways directly through communities of color, cutting off economic opportunity and causing devastating health consequences. The bipartisan deal provides only $1 billion for this. The AJP also put forward $111 billion for clean water infrastructure, while the bipartisan deal contains an unacceptable $60 billion. Without a strong Justice40 commitment that is accompanied by meaningful investment, the bipartisan deal fails to fulfill President Biden’s environmental justice promises, and once again leaves Black and brown communities behind.

>> Related Blog: Theresa Landrum on the GOP Plan to Perpetuate Environmental Injustice <<

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4. Building Energy Upgrades and Green Housing: $0b in Bipartisan Deal v $213b in the AJP

Retrofitting buildings for electrification and energy efficiency can create jobs, help working families save on their utility bills and keep the lights on, while also drastically reducing carbon and conventional air pollution. That’s why the American Jobs Plan put $213 billion to produce and retrofit 2 million green homes and commercial buildings. The bipartisan deal excludes these clean buildings and housing investments entirely, hamstringing President Biden’s climate and jobs commitments, and leaving working families—especially Black, brown, and low-income communities—with more toxic indoor air pollution and unaffordable energy bills. 

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5. Civilian Climate Corps: $0 in Bipartisan Deal v $10b in the AJP

The Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) is one of the most popular pieces of the American Jobs Plan. This national service infrastructure can help fuel a clean energy economy  with an influx of trained corpsmembers, ready to build back better. The AJP proposed $10 billion for a modern CCC, and the Sanders Democratic Senate Budget framework included $60 billion for a climate corps. But the bipartisan deal leaves the CCC off the table entirely, missing a key opportunity to put American youth to work serving their country and building the skills they need for a career in good-paying union jobs in the clean economy.