FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 6, 2022
Contact: Sumer Shaikh, Green New Deal Network, email@example.com, 774-545-0128
Green New Deal Network Applauds Biden Administration’s Move to Invest in Renewable Energy
Investments defend communities against corporate utilities who keep throwing lifelines to outdated, toxic, and expensive fossil fuel infrastructure
Washington D.C. — Today, the Green New Deal Network (GNDN) applauds the Biden Administration’s move to spur investment in clean energy technologies, especially solar panels, by invoking the Defense Production Act.
The leadership demonstrated by the President puts us on a path to ensure that monopoly utilities stop making imprudent energy choices at the cost of our wallets, health, and environment. Despite solar being the cheapest form of energy in the US, we only generate 2.8% of our electricity from solar with the majority of our power coming from fossil fuels. While utilities have continued turning over a profit on expensive fossil fuels and increased demand due to extreme weather events, 28% of Americans skipped out on buying basics like food and medicine to pay their utility bills in 2021. Our continued over reliance on fossil fuels hurts more than just our wallet; in 2021, 40 percent of Americans were found to be breathing unhealthy air with people of color 61 percent more likely to live in a county with unhealthy air than white people.
A transition to clean energy would reduce the cost of energy, while also protecting the planet and its people. A just transition and deployment of renewables must support working families by creating local, union-protected renewable energy jobs, stop the development of any new fossil fuel infrastructure, and ensure benefits of clean energy investments reach the often low-income, Black, and Brown communities who live in the shadow of fossil fuel polluters.
GNDN coalition members issued the following statements:
“President Biden must take action at the scale that science and justice demand. Today’s executive action by the Biden administration to help unlock the potential of clean energy is what we need more of to address the climate crisis, create a better future for our communities, support domestic manufacturers, and aid our allies abroad by weakening the fossil-fueled war in Ukraine,” said Anusha Narayanan, Climate Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA. “This announcement demonstrates President Biden’s ability to ramp up the transition to renewable energy. Now he needs to go even further by invoking the Defense Production Act across all clean energy sectors, declaring a climate emergency, and addressing the root of the climate crisis by beginning an immediate and equitable phaseout of domestic fossil fuel production.”
“The climate crisis deserves nothing less than urgent action, and today’s announcement by the White House shows that President Biden is fully capable of taking such steps. With this good news we compel the President to ensure that the rights of Indigenous people are fully respected when it comes to the extraction of rare minerals associated with solar energy development. Furthermore, we look forward to seeing the President now assert his authority to declare a climate emergency and stop the expansion of fossil fuels, for the healthy future of Mother Earth and the next seven generations of life,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director at Indigenous Environmental Network.
“We are in a climate emergency — an emergency we can only confront when our government steps up and launches a WWII scale mobilization to justly transition to renewable energy. This is a great step by the administration, and we urgently hope to see even more significant executive actions follow,” said Varshini Prakash, Movement Executive Director at Sunrise. “We’re one step closer to a Green New Deal, but we need much more leadership like this. Now Biden must follow through and use his executive power to secure funding and ensure every worker can join a union and is paid a living wage. Our lives and our future depend on it.”
Mary Small, National Advocacy Director at Indivisible said, “President Biden’s order to invoke the Defense Production Act, paving the way for a transition to clean, affordable, and reliable energy, signals that the administration is not only receiving the calls from people around the country who have been voicing concerns regarding the state of our climate – it shows that President Biden is listening and ready to take action.This Executive Order will massively ramp up production of clean energy technology and infrastructure, create good jobs with strong labor standards, and spur the creation of a just energy system that centers environmental justice. Climate action is just one of many areas in which President Biden can make huge progress, right here and now, with the stroke of a pen. It’s exciting to see President Biden use his position to move yet another priority on Congressional Progressives’ list and the Indivisible movement’s agenda within the White House.”
“The Sierra Club applauds President Biden for taking the necessary action to support the solar industry, the 230,000 Americans who work in it, and our national climate goals. While this action will provide a measure of desperately needed certainty in the solar supply chain and allay some concerns, today’s efforts do not conclude the issue at hand,” said Matthew Bearzotti, Deputy Legislative Director at the Sierra Club. “President Biden was right to take critical action to minimize the effects of the ongoing solar inquiry, which has already resulted in layoffs, stalled construction of new solar projects, and a delay in coal plant retirements. Now, Commerce Secretary Raimondo must prioritize concluding a fact-based inquiry at the earliest possible moment as the administration continues to usher in the clean energy economy.”
About the Green New Deal Network
The Green New Deal Network is a nationwide network of organizations committed to transforming our politics and economy with policies that address the climate crisis, that create good, union jobs, and that repair past harm and advance justice. The Network includes coalitions in 25 states, as well as a coordinating team of 15 national organizations: Center for Popular Democracy, Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Greenpeace, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indivisible, Movement for Black Lives, MoveOn, People’s Action, Right To The City Alliance, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, US Climate Action Network, and the Working Families Party.