Working people have too often felt the pain of shifts in technology. As America transitions to a new, cleaner economy, we can’t leave workers or communities behind. The Build Back Better Act will make critical investments in workers and communities experiencing the economic impacts of energy transition as part of a broader set of investments to build a clean, prosperous, and equitable economy for all.
A transition that is fair for workers and communities isn’t something that will happen organically. We have to choose to invest in keeping communities and workers whole and in the economic development and diversification of regions impacted by this shift. We have to do so with a recognition that the best approach to energy transition among workers and communities not already impacted is one that prevents economic disruption and employment loss in the first place.
The Build Back Better Act (BBBA) will invest over $15 billion in economic development (see Table 1), growing renewable energy and energy efficiency in impacted communities, revitalizing American manufacturing, and targeting new jobs to workers dislocated by America’s energy shift. While the legislation falls short in some areas—most notably by not providing direct financial assistance to laid off energy workers—the provisions that it does include represent an unprecedented level of federal investment in the workers and communities.
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