State and Local Leaders Back Jobs Plan

Climate and environmental justice advocates joined with labor groups and elected officials last week, Earth Week, to urge passage of President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Among other key items, the plan’s investments will speed American transition to a clean energy economy that will help to head off climate catastrophe.

32 North Carolina state and local leaders were among 1,266 signers of a national League of Conservation Voters letter to congressional leaders, urging them to “seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help our communities recover by creating and sustaining millions of good paying jobs, putting us on the path to 100% clean energy, and building a more equitable and just society.”

Earlier in the week, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Greensboro and High Point to tout the plan’s benefits, in her first trip to North Carolina since the election. She highlighted modern manufacturing training at Guilford Technical Community College and electric school bus construction at a High Point company, examples of industries that will be boosted by the plan’s investments. North Carolina has the country’s ninth-most clean energy jobs, and is #1 in rural clean energy jobs.

Our Executive Director Carrie Clark and North Carolina State AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan added in a joint statement preceding Harris’ visit, “We’re glad Vice President Harris is visiting to highlight the economic benefits of the American Jobs Plan, which will allow us to finally address the intersecting health, economic, and climate crises we face. As we recover from COVID, now is the time for millions of people to get back to work, with new, high-quality union jobs in a clean energy economy. The plan’s inclusion of the federal PRO Act would unleash the collective power of working people to protect their livelihoods, families, and retirement security while protecting the planet. We don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a healthy economy. This is a fight that unites the environmental and labor communities and the overwhelming majority of voters. We call on our congressional delegation to quickly pass this plan to Build Back Better with justice and equity.”

Now Congress must pass this plan. Click here to email your senators and representative!

Also last week, Gov. Roy Cooper and 11 other governors of both parties urged the president to make all U.S. manufactured cars emission-free by 2035, something General Motors and Volkswagen have already committed to do. Speaking to the 2021 State Energy Conference, Gov. Cooper also laid down the law about what kinds of energy legislation he will or won’t be willing to sign.

Tonight, April 26, at 7 pm, Gov. Cooper gives his annual State of the State address to the General Assembly. And this Wednesday night, Biden delivers his first speech before a joint session of Congress. Stay tuned to our social media accounts to find out what climate and clean energy charges they give our federal and state legislative leaders.

Ahead of the president’s speech, our Director of Strategic Communications Dustin Ingalls will participate in a virtual climate and environmental protection roundtable with state Rep. Zack Hawkins, Rep. Ricky Hurtado, Rep. Julie Von Haefen, the North Carolina Sierra Club, Environment North Carolina, and Sound Rivers North Carolina. RSVP here!

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