Last week the U.S. Senate released their version of a bill to address climate change – the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. The bill is an important step toward a cleaner, healthier and more economically vibrant place for all members of our society, addressing the serious problem of climate change and producing needed employment opportunities at the same time. Although much of the bill took the form of “placeholder language” – signaling a need for continued negotiations – the existing content suggests it will include critical provisions to mitigate cost burdens for low- and moderate-income households rising from expected energy price increases. At the same time, the bill includes important measures to target low-income people and people of color for new green job opportunities so that they are able reap the economic benefits of this legislation.
As negotiations continue, we know that Minnesota will play an important role in the debate – particularly given Senator Klobuchar’s leadership in the Environment and Public Works Committee. A diverse range of organizations recently delivered a sign-on letter to our Senators asking them to dedicate 15 percent of total allowance values for full, direct consumer relief for low- income households, as the House bill did, in addition to extending relief to moderate-income households. We also made the case for public investments in training and job creation programs to ensure that disadvantaged populations have access to well-paid employment opportunities.
We will continue to keep you informed as details emerge, but given that legislation has already passed through the House and is currently being crafted in the Senate now is a great time to get involved and weigh in on what will surely be a challenging debate. To learn more about our position or to share your own priorities and concerns, please contact me at 651-757-3063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.