The Green Takeaways From Biden’s Address To Congress

Image: Screen capture/The White House/Youtube

Last night President Biden delivered his first joint address to Congress and outlined to the American people his vision for the power of government to improve lives and address urgent threats like the pandemic and the climate crisis. Biden has been a career champion of the ability of the federal government to solve the nation’s greatest challenges and has stated that he hopes to restore Americans’ faith in their government. In his speech, he offered a glimpse of the future where economic opportunity isn’t reserved for the wealthy and the privileged but is extended to workers, families, and the middle class, in large part through the buildout of the green economy.

The Climate Takeaway: The President continued to reiterate his message that climate action = jobs as well as the opportunity for the United States to lead the 21st century. In his remarks he stated,

“For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis. Jobs. Jobs.
 
For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.
 
The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy efficient buildings and homes.
 
Electrical workers installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways.
 
Farmers planting cover crops, so they can reduce carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it.
 
There’s no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.
 
No reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries.”

 

The President was also mindful to directly address Americans who might find his ambitious climate and infrastructure plans to be intangible and inapplicable to their lives. This was an especially important point to make as worker diversity is still greatly needed in the clean energy sector. Giving workers of color a defined goal for green job creation and ensuring that they see themselves as part of the transition is crucial. What’s more, is that the types of jobs Biden references can be instrumental in addressing racial disparity by hiring workers of color at liveable wages but also through the benefits this work can provide communities of color. The President went on to say:

“Now – I know some of you at home are wondering whether these jobs are for you.
 
You feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that’s rapidly changing.
 
Let me speak directly to you.
 
Independent experts estimate the American Jobs Plan will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth for years to come.
 
These are good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced.
 
Nearly 90% of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan do not require a college degree.
 
75% do not require an associate’s degree.
 
The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America.” 

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