Build Back Better Framework Seeks to Make Historic Investments in Climate Change and Environmental Justice

Statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Oct 28, 2021

WASHINGTON (October 28, 2021)—The framework for the Build Back Better Act, announced today, would mark the single largest federal expenditure ever made in clean energy and transportation, along with accompanying clean energy jobs; climate-resilient agriculture; and environmental justice—in addition to significant investments in social and economic priorities.

Below is a statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“The framework released today by President Biden and Democratic congressional leadership is a positive sign. We look forward to seeing the specifics and Congress expeditiously passing the legislation.

“If the details of the bill live up to the promise of the framework, it would mark a turning point in how the United States is addressing climate change. The framework calls for groundbreaking investments, including through clean energy and transportation tax credits, which would make a significant difference in getting more clean energy on the grid and electrifying vehicles of all sizes. It also includes one of the largest investments to date in climate-resilient agriculture. It would create a multitude of new clean energy jobs.

“The framework includes historic investments that would begin to address environmental injustices, such as legacy pollution, which have caused harm and suffering predominantly to Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

“Strong clean energy provisions would also get us closer to meeting our emissions reduction commitment made under the Paris Climate Agreement—a commitment based on the U.S. doing its share to help prevent catastrophic climate change.

“We look forward to seeing more of the bill’s details and urge lawmakers to maintain robust provisions that will slash emissions as quickly and deeply as possible and ensure that racial justice and the needs of working people are central to U.S. climate policies. Limiting harmful provisions that perpetuate our dependence on fossil fuels is also vital. We’ll need to keep building on this progress through additional policies and regulations but securing this deal would be a massive step forward.”