Authors: Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
The House of Representatives just passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act!
This historic bill promises to significantly transform our economy for the better. ACES will transition the United States to clean energy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and revitalize American industry.
More importantly, this bill includes significant opportunity for communities that too often languish at the margins of American prosperity. Through ACES, low-income communities will be able to access quality clean energy jobs, and the training required to prepare them for those jobs.
We have ourselves to thank for the inclusion of these equity provisions. Because of our combined advocacy efforts, measures on green job training, job quality standards, and community access to green jobs were added to the bill.
Today, the vote was down to the wire. Dozens of undecided Representatives were bombarded by calls, up 'til the final hour. In my experience of public service and advocacy, I can't think of another time when a last minute push by constituents made such a historic impact. Green For All supporters contacted their Representatives well over 10,000 times these past few weeks, with a rush of 1,000 calls made in the past 48 hours. Thank you so much for timely and crucial engagement.
Now that we have a moment to breathe, I want to reflect just a bit on the significance of the equity provisions we got added to ACES:
1. $860 million allocated to the Green Jobs Act! This measure will provide training to workers who need new skills for the jobs that will repower and rebuild this nation. Such programs will be the first step out of poverty for many who are in desperate need of work.
2. Local access to quality jobs, through the creation of a green-construction, careers-demonstration program. Representative Bobby Rush authored this demonstration program, which will promote middle-class careers and quality employment practices in the green construction sector. This program will empower the Secretaries of Labor and Energy to ensure that these green construction jobs are good jobs, and are accessible to low-income communities and local workers.
Green For All is proud to have fought with our champions on the Hill, including Representatives Cleaver and Luján, for crucial provisions that will ensure that low-income communities and communities of color now have access to an economic stake in the clean energy economy.
We also thank the numerous civil rights, labor, environmental, social justice, faith, and community organizations who joined us in calling for a better, more equitable ACES. We are honored to work in solidarity with you.
Passing the House was a HUGE and victory for us, but our work is not yet done.
Now it is the Senate's turn to craft its version of the bill. After that, the two chambers will come together and pass one bill, to be signed into law. The Senate is expected to begin its work on the bill in September. You better believe that we will need you then, and that we will be pulling out all stops to make sure that that version of the clean energy bill does right by our communities and workers.
I am in awe of what we accomplished. And I am filled with gratitude for you, and everyone who is in this movement for an inclusive green economy together.
I am looking forward to the next stage of this fight, with the renewed conviction that together, we can make history.
Chief Executive Officer
Green For All