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Boulder, CO (November 17, 2021)—The Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act that President Biden signed into law includes a historic $150 billion in climate related investments. Investments in EVs including a national charging network, grid updates that are essential for a clean energy future, and a plan to cap orphan methane wells that are releasing emissions that Protect Our Winters has been advocating for for more than a decade.
POW’s Athlete, Brand and Science Alliance members have been on Capitol Hill and speaking out for many of the investments in clean energy and transportation that are being made as part of the Infrastructure Bill. These investments will start to put the infrastructure in place for the U.S. to reach Paris Climate Accord goals, and are the first steps toward clean air and a healthier planet.
“We are at a critical moment both environmentally and politically to take meaningful action on climate,” said Mario Molina, Executive Director of Protect Our Winters. “Protect Our Winters, along with our athlete, science and brand alliance members have been advocating for years on Capitol Hill for action on electric vehicles, grid updates and worker transition to a clean energy future.”
POW Alliance Members directed their energy toward including climate programs in this Infrastructure bill. Protect Our Winters generated 10 opinion pieces in targeted regions, held personal meetings with Senator’s offices in Utah, Arizona, Colorado and Montana, and an additional 31 meetings on Capitol Hill, many directly with key Senators and members of Congress. On social media, POW and the Alliance created nearly three million engagements around championing climate action in Infrastructure and the budget.
The Infrastructure and Jobs Act is also remarkable in that it is cross-partisan. Twenty-two Senators from both sides of the aisle came together to write and co-sponsor this bill. POW believes that climate change should and can be bigger than party line (even at this divided moment).
“This is a major win and an important first step in the right direction in a number of ways: it is bipartisan and it builds a base layer from which we can quickly scale the transition to clean energy,” Molina continued. The phone calls, votes, advocacy and action of POW members and the Outdoor State as a whole undeniably played a big role in getting this done. People who recreate outdoors are up for a challenge and today shows that through grit and tenacity we can achieve tough goals. We’re now off the starting line and ready to hit our stride on climate action.”
While this bill is a great start, reducing emissions and slowing global warming will be a marathon. Just around the bend is the Budget Reconciliation Bill, in which current versions include $550 billion in climate programs and policies. This second round of major funding is still being debated, but members seem to be coalescing around clean energy tax credits, resilience investments including the creation of a civilian climate corps, and major investments and incentives for clean energy technology, manufacturing and supply chains.
To go from where the country was on climate a year ago to where we are today, with a President championing climate action and Congress working to pull together a combined $700 billion in climate investments is remarkable. We know that the votes of the Outdoor State, voices of POW’s Athlete, Science and Brand Alliances and support from industry partners and POW supporters were crucial in today’s climate action win.
While those who love the outdoors can celebrate today, there are miles to go to keep warming below 1.5 C degrees. POW is organizing advocacy efforts to ensure that the Budget Reconciliation Bill includes substantial climate action and makes it to President Biden’s ready and waiting signature. POW will then continue working tirelessly to advocate for the clean electricity payment program, which was dropped from the budget, to begin placing a price on carbon, to end subsidies for fossil fuel companies once and for all, and other crucial efforts to reduce emissions and slow warming.
Protect Our Winters is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that engages and mobilizes the outdoor sports community, including POW’s 50 million person Outdoor State, to become effective climate champions through educational initiatives and political advocacy. Founded by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones in 2007, Protect Our Winters works with businesses, athletes and communities to harness the collective power of those who love the outdoors to take meaningful action against climate change. For more information, visit www.protectourwinters.org
For interviews and assets please contact: Lora Bodmer, Protect Our Winters, email@example.com, cell 307.690.1630