In August, the Senate Budget Committee announced they had reached a deal with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. This deal is a vital development to ensure Congress delivers bold infrastructure investments across the country. Given the enormity of the climate crisis, environmental injustice, and economic inequality, we believe this should represent a floor not a ceiling for federal investments. But it alone presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize our economy, lift up communities across New Hampshire, and finally tackle the climate crisis.
As New Hampshire citizens return to our jobs, schools, friends, and families we know we cannot just go back to the way things were. That’s why we are asking you to support Congress’ major infrastructure investments and call for bold federal climate action.
These investments can repair our broken infrastructure, rebuild domestic manufacturing, and create thousands of good paying jobs. But we know this opportunity will be wasted if we don’t invest in an economy built for the future. That means we must tackle the interwoven crises of climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice.
Unfortunately, after four years of a presidential administration that denied the proven science behind climate change, we have lost precious time in this fight. We have seen the consequences of inaction firsthand here in New Hampshire through more frequent and powerful storms, drought, and impacts on wildlife. The recent report released by the United Nations intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is sobering and a strong call to action. We must act. Congress has a bipartisan mandate for action from Granite Staters
Polling continues to show wide support for President Joe Biden’s build back better agenda. In a recent survey, Data for Progress found 63 percent support overall among New Hampshire voters for the American Jobs Plan, including 60 percent of independents. Support was even higher on specific issues covered under the plan like removing lead water pipes (85 percent) and expanding clean energy investments (70 percent).
Additional polling from Hart Research in May shows high support in NH-01.
• 62 percent said they agreed with the plan’s emphasis on spending federal funds to expand the use of “clean energy,” such as wind and solar power.
• 60 percent support the plan’s goal of generating 100 percent of the nation’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.
• 64 percent favor targeting 40 percent of climate-related expenditures to disadvantaged communities.
State leaders support Biden’s Build Back Better agenda
At the end of April, 23 New Hampshire state and local elected officials signed a letter calling on Congress to support President Biden’s plan and ensure our federal infrastructure plan invests in a clean energy future and environmental justice. They joined over 1,200 leaders from all 50 states and DC urging Congress to seize this moment as our last best chance to tackle the climate crisis.
New Hampshire’s infrastructure needs more Electric Vehicle infrastructure.
New Hampshire was only given a C- grade on its latest Infrastructure Reporter Card. According to White House fact sheets, Granite Staters who take public transportation spend an extra 114.9 percent of their time commuting and non-White households are 2.1 times more likely to commute via public transportation. 32 percent of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85 billion investment. As of 2019, there were 16,571 Granite Staters working in clean energy, and the American Jobs Plan invests in creating more good paying union jobs advancing clean energy production by extending and expanding tax credits for clean energy generation, carbon capture and sequestration and clean energy manufacturing.
Major climate priorities in the plan
We see several key provisions of the current infrastructure deal that we believe are vital to ensuring this plan delivers a cleaner healthier future for all New Hampshirites.
• The plan must put the U.S. on the path to 100 percent clean electricity, with a goal to cut our emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030, powering everything from our electricity grid, transportation, and buildings with reliable, affordable clean energy.
• Promote equity by ensuring at least 40 percent of benefits go to the communities who need it most, prioritizing just and equitable solutions being led by low income and communities of color most harmed by toxic pollution and climate change.
• Incentivize high-quality, good paying union jobs, especially in the domestic clean energy and manufacturing sectors, while supporting communities historically reliant on oil, gas, and coal jobs.
We deeply appreciate you reviewing this memo and taking time to consider supporting federal climate action and the current reconciliation infrastructure plan. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the need for climate action and building a clean energy economy in more detail. Let us know how we can be most helpful as you are considering your support.
Rob Werner is the New Hampshire State Director of the League of Conservation Voters and can be reached at email@example.com