As Thanksgiving approaches, The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health is grateful to President Biden and members of the House of Representatives for the passage of the Build Back Better initiative. The measure approved would invest $555 billion in equitable health and climate solutions. This represents the largest group of climate measures in U.S. history and will advance the health of Americans immediately and for all future generations.
Much of the climate-related spending would reduce air pollution and lead to cleaner air and water at the local level. The measure includes funding to provide up to $12,500 in tax credits for individuals who purchase electric vehicles, with larger credit for vehicles made in the U.S. by union workers. Credits will also apply to solar panels, heat pumps, and other equipment that provides power for heating and cooling without pollution. According to the Yale Climate Opinion maps, this approach has great popularity across the country. There is also $300 billion in tax incentives for producers and purchasers of solar, wind, and nuclear power, with support for updates to the transmission grid to accommodate renewable energy and funding for electric charging stations. Further, there is support for climate-friendly farming and forestry programs.
The House culminated nearly a year of hearings, discussions, debates, and negotiations, which reflected advocacy by hundreds of thousands of health, equity, and climate advocates from around the country. We at the Consortium are very, very grateful to these advocates for climate, health, and equity. Together, we are making a difference. Our challenge now is to keep up our efforts and protect these provisions as the debate moves to the Senate.