Delivering President Biden's Climate Agenda
Call to action for the U.S. Senate to pass Biden's Build Back Better legislation
CEO of Rewiring America
December 17, 2021
We know that addressing the climate crisis requires immediate intervention on a scale commensurate with the challenge before us. We also know that the path for doing so winds through all of us, and that we can only meet the moment if we all come together and do our part.
For leaders in the Senate, that means passing President Biden’s Build Back Better Act. Build Back Better is a generational investment in the climate and our path to zero emissions. It recognizes that electrification of our economy is at the heart of the solution, and that the American household is the nexus of our climate infrastructure.
The decisions we make around our kitchen tables — what cars we drive, how we heat our homes and water, how we cook, and how we dry our clothes — account for about 40 percent of our emissions. Americans feel this even more acutely this year with rising and volatile winter energy prices, both driven by unstable fossil fuel prices. Recognizing the home as the nexus for our climate action, the Build Back Better Act would make transformational market investments in electrification that will help Americans save money on their bills, improve the air quality in their homes and increase their quality of life. It will also result in the creation of millions of family sustaining, local jobs that cannot be automated or off-shored and will be spread across every zip code in America.
The kitchen table investments proposed in Build Back Better will have tangible impacts on the lives of all Americans, but particularly those with low- and moderate-incomes. On today’s grid, over 87 percent of Americans could save over $37 billion collectively on energy bills while reducing 166 million metric tons of emissions by switching just their water heater or furnace to an efficient, electric heat pump. Build Back Better makes these appliance upgrades possible. Between various tax credits and consumer rebates for clean, modern electric appliances and whole home building efficiency in the latest House text, 23 million metric tons of emissions will be saved annually in 2030, and 28 million households will be helped cumulatively.
We have the opportunity, right now, for a triple win: helping American families save money and improve their quality of life, creating millions of family sustaining, local jobs that cannot be automated or off-shored, and giving ourselves a shot at staying inside of 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. It is past time for the U.S. Senate to meet the moment, do its job and capitalize on the opportunity in its hands so that we can all reap the benefits of their leadership together. It is time for the U.S. Senate to pass the Build Back Better Act and send it to President Biden's desk for signature. American families and the planet do not have the luxury to wait any longer.