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Pallone Highlights Build Back Better Act’s Historic Investments to Combat the Climate Crisis and Protect Environment

November 22, 2021
Press Release
Build Back Better Act Accelerates Transition to Clean Economy, Permanently Bans Offshore Drilling, and Cleans up Superfund Sites

Long Branch, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today held a press conference with local environmental advocates to highlight how the Build Back Better Act that passed the House last week will help fight the climate crisis and protect the environment. The Build Back Better Act makes historic investments in the fight against the climate crisis by investing $555 billion in clean energy including offshore wind, creating a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and establishing a Methane Emissions Reduction Program.

The Build Back Better Act provides historic, long-term investments to position the United States as a leader in the global clean energy economy and to reduce the risks and costs of climate-fueled extreme weather and wildfires. To meet President Biden’s goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, the Build Back Better Act invests over $320 billion in renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives that will move us toward a clean economy and create thousands of new jobs. 

Pallone is the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which spearheaded key provisions to combat the climate crisis, including a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to support the rapid deployment of low- and zero-emission technologies, a Methane Emissions Reduction Program to immediately reduce methane pollution from petroleum and natural gas systems, home energy efficiency and appliance electrification rebates to reduce energy usage and lower consumers’ energy bills, and $5 billion to replace certain heavy-duty vehicles, including trash trucks and school buses.

The Build Back Better Act will protect the environment by permanently banning new offshore oil and gas leasing along the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico. It provides $6 billion to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for projects that conserve, restore, and protect coastal and marine habitats to increase climate resilience of coastal communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Act together force corporate polluters to clean up toxic sites, not taxpayers, by reinstating the Superfund Tax.

“We know the climate crisis is here and that coastal states like New Jersey are on the frontlines. I’m pleased this bill will help New Jersey protect the environment. With my proposal for a permanent ban on offshore drilling along the Atlantic Coast and the bill’s $6 billion investment in coastal resiliency that’s modeled after my Living Shorelines Act, the Build Back Better Act will ensure we have the tools in place to protect our state’s environment for generations to come. The bill also holds corporate polluters accountable by forcing them to pay for the cleanup toxic Superfund sites, not taxpayers,” Pallone said. “The Build Back Better Act also aggressively tackles the worsening crisis by making historic investments to move us toward a clean energy economy while also producing millions of good paying American jobs. We simply cannot wait any longer to combat the climate crisis.”

The Build Back Better Act also includes an additional $10 billion for the full replace of lead services lines in drinking systems throughout the country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill included an initial $15 billion.

“For decades, Clean Water Action has stood side by side with Congressman Pallone in the fight for clean water and oceans, toxic cleanups, safe drinking water and advancing a green energy economy,” said Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director at Clean Water Action. “The Build Back Better Act could not have come at a more pivotal moment. It will accelerate solutions where it is most needed and in communities that have been overburdened by pollution harms. It will also make New Jersey more resilient to climate change and help us expand our efforts to grow a green energy economy. This paired with putting people to work who have been largely left behind or out of work opportunities is a formula for a better future for all regardless of the zip code you live in.”

“We applaud Chairman Pallone and the House of Representatives for passage of historic legislation to address the climate crisis,” said Amy Hansen, policy analyst at NJ Conservation Foundation. “We urge the Senate to move this vital legislation forward and to fight efforts to weaken it.”

“We thank Congressman Pallone for his leadership in helping make the Build Back Better Act the largest federal investment in fighting climate change in our nation's history,” said Kai Mateo, Federal Climate Campaign Manager, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “The bill that left the House of Representatives last week would invest more than half a trillion dollars in curbing climate pollution and expanding clean, renewable energy. It would also channel billions of dollars in addressing other pressing environmental crises, from remediating toxic Superfund sites to helping municipalities purchase clean electric vehicle fleets while creating new pipelines to careers in underserved communities and communities of color through a new Civilian Climate Corps. None of these investments would have been possible without the sustained advocacy we have seen from Rep. Pallone, who understands that championing strong environmental protections will create jobs right here in New Jersey. This legislation is critical for building a stronger 21st century economy that is both equitable and sustainable, and we are calling on the Senate to quickly pass this transformative legislation quickly so that we can get it to President Biden's desk.”

“We applaud our House Representatives for passing historic legislation that will help tackle the climate crisis. President Biden’s Build Back Better Act is a major investment in clean energy, job growth, and environmental justice. This comprehensive act includes sweeping clean energy and transportation initiatives, coastal protection from offshore drilling and more,” said Taylor McFarland, Acting Director of the Sierra Club- NJ Chapter. “Now it’s critical that our Senate quickly passes this legislation so that we can implement this historical bill.”

“The passage of the Build Back Better Act through the House was a historic day for climate action. The threats from climate change have never been more real and this package includes climate and clean energy investments that are six times the level of the Obama clean energy stimulus. This will provide a massive shot in the arm for a clean, renewable future that is not dependent on fossil fuels, a future where our electric grid is modernized, our school buses are electrified, our electric vehicles have an accessible charging network across the country and we are not expanding offshore oil drilling,” said Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey. “The Build Back Better Act also reverses some of the environmental sins of the past from finally reinstating the Superfund Tax to make sure polluters pay for toxic clean ups to providing more funding to replace lead service lines across the nation. This is a big freaking deal for our climate and environment, and Rep. Pallone's leadership was instrumental for ensuring these historic environmental investments remained in the bill. We urge the Senate to pass this legislation as fast as possible.”

“NY/NJ Baykeeper thanks Congressman Frank Pallone for his leadership on passing the Build Back Better Act that funds critical environmental and coastal resiliency projects needed to create a healthier better-protected Raritan Bayshore and NY/NJ Harbor Region,” said Greg Remaud, NY/NJBaykeeper. “Also, it reinstates the incredibly important Superfund Tax, so that contaminated site clean ups, like the Raritan Bay Slag Site in Old Bridge, is paid for by the polluter, not the taxpayer.”

“As a Superstorm Sandy survivor, I am grateful to Congressman Pallone’s leadership to ensure passage of more than just a ‘roads and bridges’ bill. Not that they are not important, but for communities like mine, we need wetlands and living shorelines for our communities to thrive and this is part of the bill. Our children and our grandchildren need a secure and healthy future and this bill the start of that new future,” said Jody Stewart, Community Organizer for New Jersey Organizing Project.

The Build Back Better Act will be the largest investment in natural infrastructure supporting clean water and air since the New Deal. New Jersey, a coastal state that has already experienced the impacts of climate change, will gain $6 billion to address coastal resiliency to combat the effects of rising sea level rise and major flooding events. We applaud Congressman Pallone for his efforts in getting the bill passed,” said Eric Stiles, President and CEO of New Jersey Audubon. “It is a boon for New Jersey from habitat protections to job creation and economic benefits. The investments in the bill will help us achieve the promise of a clean, accessible environment that leaves no community behind.”

“In the fight to reduce climate change our greatest asset is a healthy ocean. Within the Build Back Better Bill, the House passed key provisions to help protect the ocean including Clean Ocean Action’s Top Two,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “First, there is a ban on offshore oil and gas drilling—the menace of the sea. This is the first time Congress has taken this long overdue step, and it is most welcome. Second, it will fund the protection and enhancement of living shorelines which have enormous benefits to the ocean and people.”