Nevada Leaders Encouraged by President Biden’s Historic Framework for Bold Investments in Clean Energy and Climate

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NEVADA — Today, President Biden unveiled the Build Back Better Framework, the largest effort to combat the climate crisis in American history with climate investments reportedly totaling more than $550 billion. The framework is a bold vision for a better climate future for the country, emphasizing clean energy, jobs, and climate justice. 

Following the announcement, ten Nevada leaders expressed support for the historic investments, calling on leaders to swifty support the framework to ensure we can meet this moment with bold action. 

Nevada is on the frontlines of the climate crisis and our communities have no time to lose in addressing it. Federal efforts paired with ongoing investments at our state and local level will help us protect our communities from further climate devastation, rebuild our neighborhoods with resilient infrastructure, and restore our local economy with good-paying clean energy jobs. 

“Today, after thousands of Nevadans and millions across the nation have demanded action, the President has finally announced a framework with the strongest action our country has ever taken to combat the climate crisis. These historic investments put us on the path to cutting our climate pollution in half by 2030, investing directly in communities of color that are too often left behind, and creates family-supporting union jobs right here at home,” said Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Paul Selberg. “These bold investments would complement clean energy investments already underway in Nevada, including those of SB 448, a major clean energy bill signed into law earlier this year, and help us advance toward our state’s climate goals of net-zero emissions by 2050. This is a historic day for people and the planet. Now, we ask Congress to support this framework and act quickly to finalize this transformational bill.”

“The Culinary Union is pleased to see that the Build Back Better framework begins to address environmental inequality. With record heat, drought, and fires ravaging the communities hospitality workers live and work in, we must invest now in bold policies,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “We remain committed to pursuing a full package that also protects working families, fixes our broken immigration system, and advances justice for all Nevadans.”

“This is a historic step forward and we call on our elected leaders to make this deal a reality as soon as possible. Climate change affects every part of our daily life and our future is on the line. Our families have a fundamental right to clean air and clean water, especially since air quality disproportionately impacts communities of color, especially in urban areas like Las Vegas.” said Duy Nguyen, Executive Director for One APIA Nevada, a non-profit advocacy group for Asian and Pacific Islander families. “Build Back Better is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in climate change policy to create a cleaner, healthier future for future generations. Climate change is already a reality impacting many nations across the Asia Pacific region, and if we aren’t able to mitigate the effects, we will soon see climate refugees everywhere. In addition, our families deserve an immigration system that is equitable and accessible, and good paying, clean energy jobs with access to healthcare. We hope that this framework is the start of consistent investment in our fight against the climate crisis and achieving environmental justice. We must act now and address the most devastating impacts of climate change.”

“The Build Back Better framework proposes the largest investment in clean energy that our country has ever seen,” said Sarah Steinberg, Principal at Advanced Energy Economy. The faster dollars can start flowing to Nevada, the faster the state can continue to build its clean energy economy. This means more jobs, more electric cars and trucks, and more affordable electric bills. It also means less reliance on fluctuating gas prices in the coming years.”   

“Indigenous communities are often the worst and first hit by climate change, and have been leading in solutions to address this crisis,” said Taylor Patterson, Native Voters Alliance-Nevada. “Federal investments in climate resiliency, wildfire and drought planning, clean energy, as well as Tribal Colleges and Universities, will help bolster our communities, and we are glad to see those provisions in this framework. There’s much more work to do, and we know Nevada’s representatives and Senators are ready to act. We urge Congress to quickly pass the Build Back Better package and deliver on climate action and climate justice.” 

“The Build Back Better framework represents the largest comprehensive investment in climate action in our nation’s history, and not a moment too soon,” said Jarrett Clark, Communications Manager for For Our Future Nevada. “This landmark legislation will create good-paying jobs, help speed the transition to cleaner electricity and reduce transportation emissions by encouraging electric vehicle adoption and expanding accessibility to public transit.”

“President Biden’s proposed framework is half of what he initially committed to, and completely erases the already imperfect Clean Energy Performance Program (which would have set up the first nationwide clean energy standard),” said Laura Martin, Executive Director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action Fund “At the same time, we have not seen any cuts to the bad parts of the bipartisan infrastructure that invest in/incentivize fossil fuel buildout. We understand the difficult road ahead of the President and Congress, and we’re hopeful this framework can continue to build on the bold policy needed to save our communities from toxic and violent extractive industries that not only destroy our planet, but rob us of our futures.”

“Nevadans, Americans and our loved ones around the world will be blessed by the historic investment of the Build Back Better framework in the area of combating climate change,” said Ender Austin, II, Southern Nevada Director, Faith in Action Nevada. “The impoverished in this nation and around the world are climate refugees because we hasten the destruction of the Earth. This investment marks a change of course. Although our work is not done, we celebrate this action. We must remain vigilant in the fight to repair damage to communities most harmed and provide redress to the ‘least of these.”

“With the two fastest-warming cities and among the most polluted counties in the country, Nevadans need meaningful, transformational federal investments in clean energy, pollution-free transportation, and restoration to address the climate crisis,” said Rudy Zamora, Program Director for Chispa Nevada. “This Framework gets us closer to investing in the jobs and technologies we need to protect our communities, our air, our lands, and our waters. We urge Congress, and especially members of Nevada’s federal delegation, to quickly pass this historic package and put us on a path towards climate justice.”

“President Biden and Congressional leaders have responded to this climate crisis moment with a new framework for the Build Back Better Act that lays out unprecedented investments in a realistic and achievable path for addressing the climate crisis, cutting carbon pollution, delivering action on environmental justice, reducing energy bills for working families, and creating millions of quality union jobs,” said Maria Nieto Orta, Mi Familia Vota Political Director.

Background:

The Build Back Better framework represents the largest effort to combat climate change in American history. The framework seeks to cut greenhouse gas pollution by well over one gigaton in 2030, reduce consumer energy costs, give communities access to cleaner air and water, create hundreds of thousands of good-paying local jobs, and advance environmental justice by investing in a 21st century clean energy economy – from buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, and agriculture to climate smart practices across our lands and waters.

Key investments of the framework include: 

  • Clean Energy Tax Credits ($320 billion): Ten-year expanded tax credits for utility-scale and residential clean energy, transmission and storage, clean passenger and commercial vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing.
  • Resilience Investments ($105 billion): Investments and incentives to address extreme weather (wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes, including in forestry, wetlands, and agriculture), legacy pollution in communities, and a Civilian Climate Corps.
  • Investments and Incentives for Clean Energy Technology, Manufacturing, and Supply Chains ($110 billion): Targeted incentives to spur new domestic supply chains and technologies, like solar, batteries, and advanced materials, while boosting the competitiveness of existing industries, like steel, cement, and aluminum.
  • Clean Energy procurement ($20 billion): Provide incentives for the government to be purchaser of next gen technologies, including long-duration storage, small modular reactors, and clean construction materials.

Nevada continues to be a leader in expanding clean energy opportunities. In 1997, Nevada made history as the second in the nation to adopt a renewable portfolio standard, a regulatory requirement to increase production of energy from renewable sources. As home to some of the best solar, geothermal, and wind energy resources in the nation, Nevada passed legislation in 2019 to increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard to reach 50% of renewable energy by 2030. Furthering this work, the 2021 Nevada state legislature passed SB 448, a major clean energy bill that addresses Nevada’s transmission network, transportation electrification, and energy efficiency programs for low-income Nevadans and has also garnered support from labor unions and clean energy advocates. Federal investments outlined in the Build Back Better framework would allow Nevada to continue building a robust renewable energy industry to create local jobs, reduce pollution, and improve access to affordable energy. 

Nevadans are feeling the impacts of climate change – with record-breaking temperatures, unruly wildfires, and historic drought rocking communities. Nevada is home to two of the fastest warming cities in the country — Las Vegas and Reno. Currently, Nevada experiences 20 days per year classified as dangerous heat days and that number is projected to increase to 30 days per year by 2050. Since the 1970’s the average number of fires over 1,000 acres each year has doubled in Nevada, and in August 2021, several counties in Nevada recorded their worst recorded air quality index due to wildfire smoke. Nevada is currently facing an immense water crisis. This summer, the federal government announced the first-ever water shortage in Lake Mead, forcing the state to reduce its water allocation by nearly 7 billion gallons in 2022. 

Nevada voters are demanding climate action now. According to Data for Progress, 80 percent of registered voters in Nevada support investments in clean energy jobs and 76 percent support Congressional climate action. A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling also shows a majority of Nevada voters — 83 percent — support the use of federal funds to combat the climate crisis and invest in efforts to make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.