Appalachian Voices Applauds Progress Towards Historic Investments in Clean Energy, Funding for Rural Energy Co-operatives, and Expanded Black Lung Excise Tax
Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, a bill that, if passed by the United States Senate, will make significant investments in Appalachian families and workers. and create jobs that bring cleaner energy to our communities and make our region more resilient in The Face of Climate Change.
The Build Back Better Act, also known as Reconciliation, contains groundbreaking measures to address the climate crisis and makes significant investments to support communities amid a great economic transition with the coal industry downturn. . The bill will dramatically increase access to solar power and energy efficiency in Appalachia and across the country, making clean energy much more widely available to people, businesses and communities from all walks of life. .
“We are truly on the verge of doing something transformational for the planet we leave to our children, for the working families and for the communities that have given so much to the nation. We need to look at it, keep calling our senators and cross the finish line. Then we can roll up our sleeves and focus on the big implementation work, ”said Tom Cormons, Executive Director of Appalachian Voices and Member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Board.
Senators and representatives of the Appalachians were powerful in the process of negotiating this bill. The provisions of the Build Back Better Act that will directly benefit Appalachian communities include:
- Expand access to rooftop solar and weather assistance for low and moderate income families by extending the investment tax credit and adding residential direct payment to make this benefit accessible to all, as well as additional grants and tax credits to encourage solar projects in low-income countries. income and tribal communities.
- Funding to help rural power co-operatives phase out expensive fossil-fueled power plants and replace them with affordable, job-creating and accessible renewables and energy efficiency.
- Significant investments in environmental justice to increase access to clean energy for disadvantaged communities, including the accelerator of clean energy and sustainability.
- Incentives to make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change such as flooding while creating jobs through investments in forestry, soil conservation and agriculture.
- A four-year extension of the black lung excise tax, which provides funding for health care and benefits to coal miners who have contracted this deadly and increasingly widespread disease.
“This bill reflects the fact that our region’s champions in the House have worked closely with the Appalachian groups to find out our priorities and the investments we want to see for our region, and have ensured that many of these priorities be included in the Build Back Better Act, “mentioned Chelsea Barnes, Legislative Director at Appalachian Voices. “We are calling for the speedy passage of the Build Back Better Act in the Senate. ”
Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and a just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.