The US House Should Pass HR 2, the Moving America Forward Act

June 29, 2020

Alaska Wilderness League Action* American Horse Protection SocietyAnimal Wellness Action * Animal Wellness Foundation * Campaign for America’s FutureClean Water Action * Climate Reality Project * Earthjustice * EarthworksEnvironmental Defense Fund * Environmental Law & Policy Center* Green For AllInterfaith Power & Light * League of Conservation VotersLeague of Women Voters of the United States * Moms Clean Air ForceNational Parks Conservation Association* National Wildlife FederationNatural Resources Defense Council * Sierra Club* Union of Concerned ScientistsVoicesfor Progress *World Wildlife Fund

Dear Representative,

On behalf of our millions of members and supporters across the country, we urge you to support H.R.2, the Moving Forward Act.

The nation’s infrastructure is aging, and the impacts of climate change only exacerbate the problem. The cumulative cost of extreme weather events and climate-related disasters to our transportation, energy, water, sewer, publicland, and other infrastructure has exceeded $1.5 trillion since 1980. These and other impacts have also fallen disproportionately across communities, with communities of color and low income communities hit first and hardest. H.R. 2 is a bold infrastructure plan that will transform our transportation systems, transition the nation to cleaner sources of energy, invest in clean and safe water, protect workers, preserve nature, and address the challenges from a changing climate to our communities. While not all organizations represented here work on or support each individual provision in this robust bill, we are united in our support for the Moving Forward Act’s ambitious agenda.  

Transportation: H.R. 2, which includes the INVEST in America Act, introducesmuch-needed reforms to our national transportation program, working towards reducing pollution and providing affordable and accessible options for all communities, including transit and passenger rail. These include targeted funds alongside broader changes to overall policy direction that will help provide greater mobility options for transit, move toward transportation electrification for people and goods, and build resilient infrastructure that can withstand more extreme weather and other climate impacts. Some of the most important aspects include a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance measure, a connectivity performance measure for transportation access, new apportionment programs to support carbon pollution reduction and climate resilience, Community Climate Innovation Grants, increased funding for transit, bus fleet electrification, reducing diesel emissions, and increased funding for low-carbon transportation infrastructure like active transportation networks and EV charging.  New green finance programs will also help improve access to transportation electrification and other low-carbon, climate-resilient projects.

Clean Energy: H.R. 2 expands and updates federal clean energy programs to invest in increasing the energy efficiency of the nation’s building stock and modernizing the electricity system. It also creates new programs to bring clean energy benefits to underserved communities. These investments will lower utility bills for families, small businesses and communities, cut emissions and local air pollution, and help ensure access to adequate and affordable heating and cooling. The package incorporates the GREEN Act, a package of clean energy tax credits and enhancements that will drive adoption of renewable energy, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency, though we continue to have concerns about support for energy sources, including the burning of biomass or municipal solid waste, that have a detrimental effect on our climate and public health.

Clean Water: It includes a surge in funding for clean water and safe drinking water infrastructure and direct assistance to underserved communities and communities suffering from PFAS contamination. These provisions will help eliminate water inequalities, spur economic recovery and growth, and build strong, resilient communities.

Resilient Communities: The bill invests in building healthy, safe, and more resilient communities including frontline, vulnerable, Indigenous and communities of color that have suffered from disinvestment and racial and economic injustice. It includes the Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2020 with additional set asides from green housing investments, provides additional funds for affordable housing and infrastructure, provides support for reclamation and economic transition in coal communities and helps remediate orphaned oil wells.

Natural Solutions: The bill works to mitigate climate change and its effects through critical shifts in land use: encouraging conservation that enhances natural carbon sequestration, establishing a superior framework for the use of public lands for renewable energy development, and promoting equal access to the outdoors. Numerous provisions would preserve or enhance ecosystem health nationally through programs to conserve scarce water supplies, address deteriorating roads in our national forests, and improve wildlife connectivity, among others, and in key areas like the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. While imperfect, the inclusion of the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act would accelerate the adoption of renewable power sources by facilitating siting of solar, wind, and geothermal energy projects on public lands and further boosting funding for conservation. And the sections establishing guaranteed funding to enhance access to greenspace and develop recreational infrastructure in park-poor urban areas and traditionally underserved communities start to address the intersectional harm of inequities in outdoor recreation.

Worker Protections: Finally, the bill includes strong language to ensure that the investments made from this bill will deliver quality, family-sustaining jobs and benefits to workers and communities, including prevailing wage, project labor agreements, and Buy America/n requirements. These kinds of provisions help ensure fair wages and benefits, safe working conditions, and maximize the benefits of public investments. We support any further efforts to ensure these provisions are applied broadly and consistently across the bill.

This legislation demonstrates leadership and vision needed to tackle the infrastructure crisis. We urge you to support the Moving Forward Act to invest in clean energy and transportation, to deliver clean water, and to build more resilient communities.

Signed,

Alaska Wilderness League Action

American Horse Protection Society

Animal Wellness Action

Animal Wellness Foundation

Campaign for America’s Future

Clean Water Action

Climate Reality Project

Earthjustice

Earthworks

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Law & Policy Center

Green For All, a program of Dream Corps

Interfaith Power & Light

League of Conservation Voters

League of Women Voters of the United States

Moms Clean Air Force

National Parks Conservation Association

National Wildlife Federation

Natural Resources Defense Council

Sierra Club

Union of Concerned Scientists

Voices for Progress

World Wildlife Fund

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