The Biden Administration continues to take steps to address the climate crisis. In addition to its Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal, the Administration also recently released a $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan.
Overall, the ideas that make up the American Jobs Plan represent a positive step forward in the U.S. response to the climate crisis.
This plan focuses on addressing the country’s infrastructure needs while expanding access to renewable energy and creating job opportunities as the country transitions to a low carbon economy. It follows through on the Administration’s goal to direct 40% of the benefits to disadvantaged communities.
It invests in much needed upgrades to the country’s airports, roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems. This in turn will create jobs while strengthening our resilience in the face of the extreme floods, fires, and storms that we are already experiencing are a result of climate change.
The proposal emphasizes the need to focus on reducing the transportation sector’s reliance on fossil fuels, which account for approximately 28% of total U.S. energy consumption. Reducing fossil fuel use in this sector is an important step toward mitigating the adverse health and environmental impact of transportation-induced poor air quality, which disproportionately affects communities of color.
The particular focus on eliminating all lead pipes and service lines in the U.S. is encouraging, as we know that the adverse impact of lead on human health (and particularly the health of children) has been well documented. It is unconscionable that this is still an issue in the U.S. Congress must spend what it takes to address this issue; the world’s wealthiest country can afford safe drinking water for its people.
As Congress starts to translate this proposal into legislation, we urge the two parties to work together to lay the foundations for a resilient and sustainable low carbon economy where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
Finally, efforts to clean up the legacy of fossil fuel production by plugging orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines will address the ongoing danger these sites pose. Such steps will help reduce local air pollution and meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a welcome initial investment in the people and communities that have worked for decades to power the U.S. economy.
Overall, the ideas that make up the American Jobs Plan represent a positive step forward in the U.S. response to the climate crisis. They will help create economic opportunity, protect the health of our communities, and alleviate pressure on the environment.
As Congress starts to translate the proposals contained in the Administration’s plan into legislation, we urge the two parties to work together to lay the foundations for a resilient and sustainable low carbon economy where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.