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U.S. House Passes Historic Climate Bill

After months of debate over what it should contain — including its provisions to combat the climate crisis — and a last-ditch eight-hour ramble by Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) early last Friday morning. Nearly a third of the bill’s proposed $1.85 trillion in investments over the next decade are targeted toward action on climate and environmental justice.

“The Build Back Better Act will usher in by far the biggest federal investment in climate action, clean energy, and environmental justice in our country’s history. With today’s U.S. House vote, it is one step closer to becoming law, which will save lives and boost our economy for decades to come,” said our Executive Director Carrie Clark. “Together with federal executive orders, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and Gov. Cooper’s Clean Energy Plan, this bill will cut our nation’s carbon pollution in half by the end of the decade, create millions of good jobs, and finally bring justice to the communities of color and low-income North Carolinians who have always been hit first and worst by climate impacts and environmental racism.”

As passed by the House, the BBBA contains about $555 billion in climate and environmental investments, including more than $300 billion in tax incentives for expanding clean energy generation, electric vehicles, transmission lines, and other infrastructure to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.

Clark noted the bill’s investments will save the average American household $500 a year on their power bills, as well as boosting North Carolina’s already booming clean energy economy and reducing the deficit.

“We thank Representatives Alma Adams, G.K. Butterfield, Kathy Manning, David Price, and Deborah Ross for listening to their constituents’ pleas and voting in favor of this transformative legislation. We are disappointed the rest of our state’s House delegation did not,” said Clark.

Clark also thanked the thousands of NCLCV members, AFL-CIO partners, and other advocates who have contacted their elected representatives to get the bill this far. But importantly, she emphasized, “Now it’s time for Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to get this bill to President Biden’s desk as soon as possible so this future can become a reality.”

The Senate will likely vote on this bill the week of December 6, and there is still time to make sure they finish the mission without delay. Send your senators a message now!

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