ICYMI, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Lauren Underwood, Chair Kathy Castor, and Environmental Advocates Called for Action on Climate, Jobs, and Justice Reconciliation Bill by Memorial Day

Kyra Madunich-Arevalo, kmadunich@lcv.org

Washington, D.C. – In case you missed it, yesterday, Tuesday, May 10, at 3:00 p.m. EST, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) hosted a press conference at the House Triangle with U.S. Senator Tina Smith, U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood, House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor, and advocates from our state partners in the Conservation Voter Movement (CVM) to reinforce the urgent need to pass the critical $555 billion investments in climate, clean energy, justice, and jobs.

The press conference took place just as LCV is gathering over 50 advocates in the Conservation Voter Movement from across the country to call for urgent passage of a reconciliation bill that includes the transformative investments necessary to address the worsening climate crisis, create millions of high-quality union jobs, and advance environmental and racial justice. CVM partners from Florida, Illinois, and Minnesota also told local stories that showcase why climate action is critical for each of their states at yesterday’s press event. 

Speakers gave short remarks, stressing the importance of investments in climate, jobs, and justice and the need to cut our emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and put our nation fully on the path to 100% clean energy. 

Watch a recording of the event HERE, and see photos from the event HERE.

U.S. Senator Tina Smith said, “The most important thing that we can do is to move to a clean energy future as quickly as we can. That means passing a reconciliation package, a package for climate action that seriously moves the needle on carbon reductions. This is going to be good for American jobs, good paying union jobs, good for our health and the health of our economy, and it will address the skyrocketing energy prices that we see right now because we are dependent on autocrats like Vladimir Putin for the energy that we need to live our lives. I know this is an opportunity, we cannot fail to seize this moment, we cannot waste  this moment– the time for action is now.”

House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor said, “Now is the time for all Americans to press for change here in DC. Congress must act and we must act now. We know what we need to do, we have the solutions. That’s not the question anymore. In the House of Representatives a few months ago, we passed a number of those solutions. Now is time for the Senate to act. We know how to do this; and there’s so much excitement going on across the country about the number of good paying jobs that a clean energy future will create.”

U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood said, “In my own Northern Illinois community, it is clear that climate change is not a theoretical threat, it’s an immediate one. Extreme weather has ripped apart families, farmers have suffered crop loss, and increased flooding has threatened neighborhoods in my community and across the country. Fundamentally, we know that the negative effects of climate change disproportionately burden communities of color and historically disadvantaged communities. Our reality is distressing now, and it will only get worse if we do not take action. The Senate must meet the moment and pass a transformational climate and jobs reconciliation bill that boosts clean energy manufacturing, lowers energy costs, creates good-paying jobs, and advances environmental justice. We don’t have time to waste. Families are counting on it, the health of our communities depends on it, and this moment demands it.” 

Conservation Minnesota’s Campaigns Director Marcus Starr said, “Over the course of the next two days there are going to be over fifty of us across thirty states with our members of Congress and United States Senators to ask them to act on it now. In Minnesota we are feeling the effects, whether you are a northern Minnesota ice fisher, whether you are a southern Minnesota farmer, climate change is impacting all of us.”

Illinois Environmental Council’s Federal Policy Director Brian Gill said, “The urgency to pass legislation to combat climate change, create good-paying jobs, and champion environmental justice at the federal level cannot be understated. Just last year, Illinois told the nation a story about the power of the environmental community standing up to fossil fuel interests and big utilities – and winning. Our general assembly passed, and Governor Pritzker signed, the climate and Equitable Jobs Act, a nation-leading climate and job creation bill rooted in equity. It is a model for what federal and state action should look like. Today, CEJA is already delivering good paying and equitable union jobs addressing our climate crisis and lowering costs  for consumers…demonstrating that we can leverage state and federal partnerships to act on climate with the urgency scientists have called for all while delivering jobs and justice for communities across Illinois and the nation.” 

Florida Conservation Voters’ Executive Director Aliki Moncrief said, “We are in the middle of a climate emergency and we are absolutely out of time. That said, we also have an incredible opportunity to really change the future for the better for so many people in our country…from warmer weather, flooding communities, climate gentrification, and communities being displaced by the climate crisis from sea level rise, we are absolutely on the front lines.” 

LCV’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Between an increasingly devastating and deadly climate fueled extreme weather, long-standing environmental and racial injustice, gas prices being so high from Putin’s war on Ukraine, and from oil and gas CEOs price gouging, inflation, and more, it has never been more clear that now is the time for the Senate to pass a Reconciliation bill that will put us firmly on the path to cut climate pollution in half by 2030, the goal that President Biden set and that climate and racial justice and science all require. This reconciliation bill will also save families money and will help us double down on renewable energy so that we are no longer dependent on petrostate autocrats.  It will create good-paying jobs and it will rebuild our economy in a way that is healthier, more equitable, and more just for all of our communities. Democrats ran and won on the promise to act on climate, and now it is time for Senate Democrats to get the job done.”

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