Close

The Moving Forward Act Is Not Enough Until It Moves Beyond Fossil Fuels

by Ryan Schleeter

July 1, 2020

“Any investment in our future — especially a $1.5 trillion investment from Congress — must be grounded in racial, economic, and environmental justice."

Washington, DC — Today, the House voted 233-188 to pass the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion package designed to create millions of jobs upgrading and decarbonizing the nation’s infrastructure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already signaled he will not put the bill up for a vote, despite the fact that Senate Republicans have offered no alternative vision for a just, equitable COVID-19 recovery.

In response, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Ashley Thomson said: 

“We are facing multiple, overlapping crises: the climate emergency, systemic racism, COVID-19, and a looming economic recession unlike anything in generations. The House is right to recognize the enormous opportunity we have to create millions of good union jobs, reduce toxic pollution, and initiate a just economic recovery by renewing our country’s crumbling infrastructure. However, the Moving Forward Act simply does not do enough to end the era of dirty fossil fuels.

“Any investment in our future — especially a $1.5 trillion investment from Congress — must be grounded in racial, economic, and environmental justice. But by extending tax credits for false solutions like biomass and carbon capture and doubling down on unsustainable natural gas infrastructure, the Moving Forward Act would actually move the nation backwards. Instead, Congress must prioritize investment in the Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities who have borne the brunt of fossil fueled pollution, enshrine worker protections across federal programs, fulfill obligations to workers and communities in the energy transition, and center frontline and labor voices in policy development [1].

“At the same time, we cannot afford inaction. Republicans in Congress have yet again promised to obstruct this bill and prevent any necessary improvements without offering their own proposal for helping the 43 million Americans who have lost their jobs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitch McConnell and his allies are willing to watch idly while the country falls apart — they need to either fall in line or get out of the way.”

ENDS

Notes:

[1] Earlier this year, Greenpeace briefed members of Congress on the need for funding to close the backlog of orphaned oil and gas wells as well as how the creation of a national Worker and Community Protection Fund (WCPF) could support fossil fuel workers, their families, and impacted communities in the energy transition.

Policy brief on orphan oil well remediation: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/policy-briefing-remediation-of-orphan-oil-gas-wells-in-covid-19-stimulus/

Policy brief on protecting energy workers and communities in a just COVID-19 recovery: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/policy-briefing-protecting-energy-workers-and-communities-in-a-just-covid-19-recovery/

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

We Need Your Voice. Join Us!

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.