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A Green Recovery: Build Back Better Bill Passes the House

On November, 19, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better legislation, H.R. 5376 in a vote of 220-212, that includes two trillion dollars worth of spending on social programs like universal pre-K, prescription drugs, and Medicare expansion and $550 billion on climate change. The legislation will face huge hurdles in the United States Senate; nonetheless, its passage is historic.

The Build Back Better Act invests more than $550 billion in climate action, clean energy jobs, and environmental justice. According to reporter Tony Romm of the Washington Post and the Sierra Club, key provisions on climate include:

  • Increasing the tax credit for electric vehicles to $12,500 for cars made in union-organized factories in the U.S.

  • Extending credits for residential new energy projects, including installing solar panels, geothermal pumps, and reducing the cost of installing rooftop solar.

  • Providing $6 billion to convert gas or fuel-powered appliances to electric alternatives, including rebates for heat systems. More than 1/2 of the $6 billion will support rebates in tribal communities and low-income areas.

  • Spending $6 billion to support home retrofits, including rebates of $2k to $4K per household.

  • Modernizing the electricity grid.

  • Investing in upgrades to public housing, retrofitting, and lead paint removal.

  • Creating the Climate Conservation Corps, a new service corps to employ young people and support wildlife management, fire management, and ecological restoration programs.

  • Funding $1 billion for renewable energy research.

  • Funding to replace lead pipes in drinking water systems.

These substantial public investments will likely save a gigaton, or 1/6 of the United States annual carbon emissions. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senators. Tell them that it's time to pass strong federal climate action and the Build Back Better bill legislation now.

Suggested #OneGreenThings based on Service Superpower:

Adventurer: Go to one of your favorite outdoor locations and post a selfie urging Senate passage of the BuildBackBetter legislation. Tag #onegreenthing and #buildbackbetter.

Influencer: Share this blog post and encourage friends to express their support for the Build Back Better legislation.

Philanthropist: Support organizations that are doing grassroots lobbying on climate action, including West Virginia based Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

Sage: Reach out to your community and make the moral case for intergenerational equity and the need for strong longs to support a clean energy future.

Spark: Join a friend in a call in or letter writing campaign to support Senate action on the Build Back Better agenda.

Wonk: Share the Sierra Club fact sheet about the Build Back Better legislation with friends and explain that oil companies have received billions in public investments and it's time to support a clean energy future.


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