Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Press Release

Biden's Investment in Solar Energy for Low-Income Communities Highlights Manchin's Abandonment

Manchin’s Rejection of the Reconciliation Bill Keeps Families Paying Higher Energy Costs
WASHINGTON -

President Biden is demonstrating that while Joe Manchin and Senate Republicans don’t care about providing relief to American families burdened with high energy costs, he does. Today, Biden announced his plan to bring the economic and environmental benefits of clean and cost-efficient solar energy to all communities. For the first time, communities in HUD-assisted rental housing will be able to access community solar, bringing energy costs down for working families. The announcement also included provisions to make good-paying solar jobs available to all Americans and cut energy costs for rural families. 

These actions build upon the Biden Administration’s recent decision to leverage the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to lower cooling costs and support community cooling centers, providing a lifeline to families and communities struggling under extreme heat and dangerous climate impacts.

No one should be forced to choose between paying for essentials like food and electricity, yet on average, low-income households spend nearly 9% of their income on energy, an energy burden three times higher than the national average. And while the Biden Administration is singing the right tune, its efforts have been silenced by Senator Manchin and every Senate Republican’s refusal to commit to voting for critical investments in climate action, clean energy, and environmental justice. 

The House-passed budget reconciliation package that fizzled in the Senate without Manchin’s support would have helped families save significantly on essential expenses such as health care, prescription drugs, child care, education, utility bills, home weatherization, and transit. For example, it included:

  • Making it $7,000 cheaper on average to install solar panels on rooftops.

  • Helping the average family save $500 each year in utility bills.

  • Cutting the price of an electric vehicle by $12,500.

  • Enabling families to save up to $8,000 while weatherizing their homes.

Bold investments in clean energy tax credits would especially assist communities hardest hit by both the climate crisis and rising prices. Such public investments would be “extremely unlikely to spur inflationary pressures,” according to the Economic Policy Institute

President Biden is continuing to make it clear he will treat the climate crisis as the emergency it is. Every single leader in Washington, DC – including Joe Manchin – still has the opportunity to do so as well while lowering energy costs for Americans and creating a livable future. The American people expect and deserve nothing less.

###

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.

Groups Warn SCOTUS May Gut 'Foundational' Digital Rights Law

"Weakening Section 230 would be catastrophic—disproportionately silencing and endangering marginalized communities," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


Report Reveals How Utilities' Climate Pledges Amount to 'Textbook Greenwashing'

Despite the passage of nearly $370 billion in renewable energy funding, the nation's utilities are squandering "a massive opportunity for clean electricity and electrification."

Julia Conley ·


$158,000 Cost for ALS Treatment Called 'A Poster Child' for Unjust Drug Pricing

"The price of the newly approved drug combination Relyvrio to treat ALS," said one critic, "is yet another clear and powerful example of unjustified high prices set by drug companies that ultimately exploit patients."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Takes 'Important First Step' With AI Bill of Rights Blueprint

While many experts welcomed the White House proposal to ensure automated systems don't erode civil liberties, others lamented the voluntary nature of what one tech writer called the "toothless" plan.

Brett Wilkins ·


Kenyan President Says 'Wind and Solar Energy Can Power the Development of Africa'

"Rather than trudging in the fossil fuel footsteps of those who went before, we can leapfrog this dirty energy and embrace the benefits of clean power," argues William Ruto.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo