Build Back Better bill with climate funding passes House, moves to senate

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Eleanor Hildebrandt | November 23, 2021

The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better bill narrowly on Friday. The bill sets aside billions for fighting climate change across the U.S.

The legislation creates initiatives to combat climate change broadly, including the electrification of the U.S. Postal Service’s cars and the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps, according to USA Today. This bill passed after President Joe Biden signed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package on Nov. 15. The infrastructure bill gave $555 billion to global warming mitigation alone.

The Build Back Better bill invests money into renewable energy and electric vehicles alongside funding initiatives to clean up pollution. The pollution program specifically helps Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities of color that have been on the front lines of toxic pollution, according to The Center for American Progress. $160 billion is invested in looking at environmental injustice and inequity in these communities.

There are also a few climate-based tax credits created by the legislation, including a 10-year credit for clean electricity generating capacity and a transmission investment credit that looks to upgrade the U.S. power grid.

Alongside the Civilian Climate Corps, the act creates a Rural Partnership Program. The program will receive $1 billion to empower rural communities to build their economies to continue helping rural American become more climate-conscious.

The Build Back Better bill isn’t strictly investing in fighting climate change. The bill also invests in preschool education, an expansion of Medicare coverage, lowering prescription drug costs, and health care subsidies for low-income Americans among other initiatives.

Biden meets with Western states, plans for harsh wildfire season

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Eleanor Hildebrandt | July 1, 2021

President Joe Biden met with governors from Western states on Wednesday to discuss the record-breaking heat wave their states face this summer. He said climate change is what is driving the increased threat of wildfires on the coast.

Governors from California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming met with the president. Portland, Oregon, set a record-high temperature three days in a row this week. Seattle, Washington, also saw high temperatures, hitting 108 degrees, eight below Portland’s high. The heat is causing some medical emergencies and sudden deaths in states, according to CNN.

This was the first meeting of its kind, however, there are annual meetings between the Federal Emergency Management Agency officials and presidents to discuss the Atlantic hurricane season. The wildfire season this year is shaping up to be devastating. Biden said the states are “playing catch-up” when it comes to counteracting these fires and their root causes, calling the area “under-resourced.”

The National Interagency Fire Center estimated more than 1 million acres in Western states have burned already this year.

At the meeting, Biden announced his plans to create an incentive program for firefighters to improve recruitment and retention. The administration also plans to expand the federal government’s wildfire prevention and response.

Biden’s Actions that Pertain to Combatting Climate Change


Maxwell Bernstein | January 29, 2021

Tackling climate change, combating racial inequality, improving pandemic response, and restoring the economy have been top priorities for the Biden administration as reported by Iowa Environmental Focus. The administration has signed 22 executive orders in his first week in office, more than any past president has in the same period according to a CBS network affiliate. NBC has released a full list of Biden’s executive actions since Jan. 20. Here is a filtered list that focuses on Biden’s actions that pertain to combatting climate change. 

Day 1: 

  • Executive order to rejoin the Paris agreement on climate change after the Trump administration left the Paris agreement in Nov. of 2020. 
  • Executive order to refocus on climate change and revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. In this action, the Biden administration also paused oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

Day 8: 

  • Executive order to initiate Biden’s plan to tackle climate change. 
  • A memorandum on scientific integrity. Agencies that perform research must, “ensure agency research programs are scientifically and technologically well-founded and conducted with integrity.”
  • Executive order to re-establish presidential advisory council on science and technology.