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For Immediate Release

Contact

Ellen Sciales, press@sunrisemovement.org 

Press Release

Sunrise Movement’s Statement Ahead of Reconciliation Package and Bipartisan Bill Votes: We’re Not Grading on a Curve, and Neither is the Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON -

Ahead of the anticipated reconciliation and bipartisan infrastructure votes in the House next week, Lauren Maunus, Advocacy Director of Sunrise Movement, released the following statement:

“Democrats in Congress have a clear choice ahead of them: do they succumb to corporate interests and Exxon Mobil by passing a climate polluting agenda, or will they follow the will of the people and pass a bold climate infrastructure package, creating millions of jobs and fighting for racial and economic justice? Failing to deliver on the mandate that they were elected on means they risk disillusioning young people, their base, and holding onto to power in 2022.

“Congress has a once in a generation opportunity to pass a bold infrastructure package: one that makes significant investments in our public schools, housing, transit, and renewable energy, while fully funding the Civilian Climate Corps so frontline communities have good-paying, union jobs that help combat the climate crisis. Passing anything less than our demands simply ignores the science and fails to take seriously the scale of the crisis we face. We're not grading on a curve, and neither is the climate crisis.”

What we are fighting for in reconciliation to meet the scale of the crisis:

- A fully-funded Civilian Climate Corps. 

  • $132 billion to train a new workforce in long-term careers to tackle the climate crisis and improve community resilience, in line with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey’s Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act. 

- Bold investments towards public housing, schools, transit, and renewable energy.

  • $172 billion towards retrofitting existing public housing and building new units to expand safe, affordable housing, in line with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Sanders’ Green New Deal for Public Housing Act. Total electrification of homes, with no subsidies towards gas or other fossil fuels as eligible energy sources, according to Sen. Heinrich’s Zero Emissions Home Act. 

  • $653 billion towards electrifying and expanding public transit, in line with Sen. Schumer and Brown’s Clean Transit for America Plan, Rep. Hank Johnson’s Stronger Communities Through Better Transit Act, and Reps. Andy Levin and Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Markey & Warren’s BUILD GREEN Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

  • $250 billion towards a Clean Energy Performance Program that prioritizes the transition to renewable energy and excludes fossil fuels including gas. Renewable energy deployment must be prioritized with at least 70% of the 80% clean energy by 2030 coming from strictly renewable energy sources, as outlined in the Welch-Clarke American Renewable Energy Act. In addition, we support the full scale of renewable energy investment and production tax credits proposed by President Biden and the effort being championed by Senator Ron Wyden.

  • $446 billion towards retrofitting America’s public schools, in line with Rep. Bowman’s Green New Deal for Public Schools Act.

  • $250 billion towards funding climate projects and jobs in every local and tribal government in line with Reps. Bush and Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal for Cities Act.  

- Worker and immigrant protections. 

  • Every project of the Green New Deal must be driven by union labor. Congress must enact the largest labor law reform since the New Deal to protect and expand union organizing, in line with the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

  • Immigrants are the backbone of this country, but too many of them don’t have the equality or protections they deserve. We strongly support the push for full citizenship to be included in the reconciliation package, especially for Temporary Protected Status designees (many of whom could be considered climate refugees), farmworkers (who labor to put food on our tables in increasingly dire heat), essential workers (who kept this country moving during the lows of the pandemic), and Dreamers (who are our future).

- At least 40% of investments to frontline communities. 

  • All climate investments must work towards reversing systemic racial and economic injustice and actively advance environmental justice. In order to ensure this is the case, Congress must utilize a robust mapping tool, such as what is outlined in Rep. Bush and Sens. Markey and Duckworth’s Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act, to help identify frontline, environmental justice communities who have borne the brunt of fossil fuel and other toxic industry pollution, impacts of the climate crisis, and decades of disinvestment and environmental racism, and direct at least 40% of all investments towards those communities. Every committee of jurisdiction must ensure at least 40% of funds are being granted to environmental justice communities, and Congress and the public must have oversight to hold the federal government accountable and ensure the funds reach communities justly and directly.

- An end to fossil fuel subsidies. 

  • Congress must stop spending public money as a lifeline for the fossil fuel industry. Congress must repeal fossil fuel subsidies, in line with Rep. Omar and Sen. Sanders’ End Polluter Welfare Act, and invest in all of the above priorities to tackle the climate crisis rather than continue to fund the industry that created it.

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Sunrise Movement is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.

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