Evergreen Applauds Inclusion of Clean Electricity Standard and Civilian Climate Corps in Reconciliation Package

Following reporting that funding for both a Clean Electricity Standard (CES) and a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) is included in Senate Democrats’ newly announced $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, Evergreen Action co-founder Sam Ricketts released the following statement:

“An ambitious Clean Electricity Standard that sets America on course for 100% clean electricity by 2035 is the cornerstone of President Biden’s agenda to create millions of jobs in the fight against the climate crisis—and its inclusion in the reconciliation package is a strong indicator that Senate Democrats are harnessing the ambition necessary to meet this moment. The inclusion of a Civilian Climate Corps is also encouraging—offering a bold new program that will put the American people to work with a living wage and pathways to union careers building climate solutions in their own communities.

"To meaningfully reduce America's greenhouse gas pollution and put us on the path to a clean energy economic recovery, the reconciliation bill must include other transformational investments in climate solutions, environmental justice, and good union jobs. In addition to a federal CES and CCC, those must include a suite of clean energy tax incentives, major investments to address environmental injustice, robust funding for clean infrastructure and manufacturing, and the elimination of subsidies for fossil fuel corporations. With this investment package, Democrats in Congress and President Biden can make historic progress confronting the climate crisis and building a just and thriving clean energy economy." 

Perhaps the single most consequential climate policy proposed in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, a federal CES with a target of 80% clean electricity by 2030 and 100% clean electricity by 2035, is the linchpin in Biden’s plan to decarbonize our economy. On its own, a CES can get us halfway to meeting President Biden’s new NDC—but it gets better than that. As we electrify other sectors of the economy like transportation, manufacturing, and buildings, a CES can eliminate even more emissions by ensuring those sectors can be powered by carbon pollution-free electricity. In addition to being a powerful tool for reducing greenhouse gas pollution, a federal CES will create millions of good-paying jobs in the clean energy economysave working families money on their utility bills, and eliminate deadly air pollution from the power sector.

In May 2019, Governor Jay Inslee released his Clean Energy for America plan, which included a 100% Clean Electricity Standard by 2035. One year ago today, President Biden embraced Inslee’s standard as part of his Build Back Better agenda. In February 2021, along with Data for Progress, Evergreen Action released a A Roadmap for 100% Clean Electricity by 2035, including how to pass a CES with a simple majority in the US Senate, through budget reconciliation, and detailing the complementary investments necessary for this clean energy transition.

In 2009, then-congressman Jay Inslee led the creation of the Clean Energy Service Corps. A decade later, in May 2019, Inslee first advanced a plan for a new Civilian Climate Corps. After President Biden included the new CCC in his climate plan, climate leaders and journalists credited Inslee’s influence. In April 2021, Evergreen Action released a detailed roadmap for building the new Civilian Climate Corps, shaping a bill released by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that same month.

In a memo last week, Evergreen Action co-founder Sam Ricketts outlined the 6 key climate investments, including a federal CES, that must be included in the budget reconciliation package to deliver on President Biden’s bold vision for climate, jobs, and justice.