Press Releases

November 19, 2021

HISTORIC VOTE: U.S. House Passes Build Back Better Act to Lower Health Care and Energy Costs, Create Jobs, Cut Pollution that Causes Climate Change

Dora Vasquez, Executive Director of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, issued the following statement after the U.S. House passed President Biden’s Build Back Better Act (BBB), sending the sweeping health care, jobs and climate legislative package to the United States Senate.

(Phoenix) — “This bill includes the most significant investments in climate and clean energy in U.S. history.

“Today’s vote is a major step on our path to reducing the carbon pollution that drives climate change – while creating jobs and lowering energy costs for millions of Arizonans. Action to address climate change is overdue, and we applaud the members of the House who voted to pass it.

“Retirees have lived long enough to experience the effect of climate change first hand. We support the Build Back Better Act because it will reduce pollution, increase energy efficiency, and create good-paying union jobs that enable people to support their families and have a more secure retirement.

“It will also help Arizona seniors make ends meet by lowering utility bills and provide assistance for weatherizing their homes.

“We particularly want to thank Representative Tom O’Halleran for taking the lead on clean energy and supporting a budget that cuts pollution, lowers energy costs for families and boosts Arizona’s economy. Now we need Arizona’s Senators to follow Rep. O’Halleran’s lead and vote for the Build Back Better Act.

“If signed into law, the Build Back Better Act puts the United States on a path to a 50-52% reduction in carbon pollution by 2030. That’s the same goal scientists say is necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Time is running out, and Arizona needs all of our elected officials to support the Build Back Better Act. We need to act now.”

Highlights of the legislation include:

  • HOME EFFICIENCY: Enable working and middle class families to save up to $8,000 while weatherizing their homes to reduce utility bills and pollution.
  • LOWER ENERGY BILLS: Help the average family save about $500 each year in utility bills. These climate policies put the U.S. on the path to cutting our climate pollution in half by 2030 while investing directly in communities of color too often left behind, and they also create good-paying union jobs.
  • CLEAN AIR: Convert more than 60,000 diesel school buses to clean electric buses so schoolchildren can breathe clean air, and convert 70% of USPS mail trucks to electric vehicles to reduce air and climate pollution in your neighborhood.
  • CLEAN WATER: Help replace over 5 million lead service lines  to deliver clean water to neighborhoods nationwide.
  • ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Provide tax credits for consumers who purchase EVs of up to $12,500 per vehicle. These incentives would have a critical impact on climate and air pollution by inducing rapid market transformation, and improve air quality in high traffic areas.
  • ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING: Help to build a half million electric vehicle charging stations in communities nationwide. Arizona-based Lucid Motors recently won Car of the Year from MotorTrend for its car, the Lucid Air. Along with a clean grid, rapid electrification of passenger vehicles and medium- and heavy-duty trucks would prevent 150,000 pollution-related deaths and save consumers $2.7 trillion by 2050.

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Contact: Dora Vasquez, retirees@azaflcio.org

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