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Pelosi Remarks at Press Event on Building Back Better on Climate

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats, the League of Conservation Voters, Climate Power and other climate activists for a press event highlighting critical provisions in the Build Back Better Act that tackle the climate crisis, address environmental justice and invest in America’s clean energy future. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:


Speaker Pelosi.  Good afternoon, everyone.  We are indoors because the weather is sprinkling us with some beautiful diamonds from the sky.  That's what we think when rain comes in California, as we're so in desperate need of it. 


Thank you all for being here.  A couple of days ago, we were on the steps of the Capitol to talk about Build Back Better.  That was the theme of – ‘Build Back Better with Women,’ and what we needed to do in the legislation to address previous injustices, whether it's environmental injustice, economic injustice and the rest, to unleash the power of women, to give leverage to children, people with disabilities and the rest with that important, with this important legislation.  


Always about the children.  That was about the children.  Today, were gathered to talk about the climate crisis and the provisions within this legislation about the children.  I just met some children downstairs from Moms Clean Air Force.  They had drawings and the rest.  They were little children, but they understood better the need for us to address the climate crisis than – they're Valencia and Natalia.  And they had drawings to that effect.  They’re busy though.  They have another engagement so they couldn't come up here. 




They're spreading the word.  And, as I said to them, and I say to our guests who are gathered here: the outside mobilization on all of this is what brought us to this place where we can pass significant legislation to help America meet its emissions goals and to also help us help other countries meet theirs. 


So, today, we're gathered under the leadership of the League of Conservation Voters and other groups who are with us.  Tiernan Sittenfeld is here, and she's going to be talking.  She's our lead presenter. 


But, we're here with the Chair of our climate crisis – well, it has its own specific name, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis – Kathy Castor.  Sharice Davids, Steven Horsford, Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill, Lauren Underwood, Haley Stevens – and joined by others, Members of the Select Committee, Veronica Escobar and Congressman Casten.  They’re members of the Select Committee.  Thank you for joining us, and for all of the groups who are represented here for your outside mobilization.  Let us applaud them




For their outside mobilization.  As I've said, over and over, inside – inside maneuvering can only take us so far, without the outside mobilization to get the best possible, boldest initiative.  So, the outside mobilization has gotten us to a maneuvering position and now will take us across the finish line on this.


We're very blessed to have a President of the United States who understands the science of this, that it is clear the climate crisis is here and is taking its toll.  The recent IPCC made clear: we have raised Code Red for humanity, because of the climate crisis.


And that is why, inspired by the American people and led by our climate champions and President Biden, our Democratic Majorities in Congress are taking action.  I wish this could be bipartisan, but that's part of the public sentiment that we'd have to have success with.


Now, President Biden says to me, ‘You don't have to talk to me about climate.  I was the first Member of – to – in Congress to introduce legislation decades ago to address the climate crisis.’  Maybe in the Senate.  Al Gore was in the House, and he was doing that, too.


So, we take great pride in having great leadership early on, pioneers in this fight.  The President has made this very special to the – to his agenda.  He will go to Glasgow, and we want to do so with legislation that is passed, that helps, again, confirms our commitment to the Paris Accords by honoring our commitment for our emission standards.  And then the President, again, has the bill – this is – today we're talking about Build Back Better for climate, while creating – it's about jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.  This is a jobs bill, creating good-paying jobs, preeminent in the green technologies in the world.  It's a health issue, clean air, clean water for our children, now – for our children right now.


It's a security issue, because security experts tell us, with all of the – you know what they are, the rising sea levels, encroachment of deserts, the thermal management of the planet, the drying up of rivers, great rivers of Asia.  The list goes on.  All of those things cause migration, competition for habitat and resources.  It's a security issue.  And of course, it's a moral issue to pass the plan onto future generations in a responsible way.


So, in my view, as I say, it would be a dereliction of duty to build infrastructure that takes us in the wrong direction instead of in the positive direction.  We intend to do that.


Now, let's keep up the drumbeat of Build Better Back better on climate.  And now, it's my privilege to yield to the fearless climate leader.  I’ve seen her in action.  Relentless, persistent, dissatisfied, but determined to meet the goal, from the League of Conservation Voters, Tiernan.  Where are you?  There’s Tiernan.




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How wonderful it is to hear our colleagues bring their enthusiasm, their values, and their strategic thinking to this, with examples from each of their districts, the sadness that it means for the families and disappointment for businesses and the rest.  We can do something about it, and we will.  And we will.


I want to thank Kathy Castor for making the report that she did, much of which is reflected in the legislation – the report of her Committee.  I want to also acknowledge that our Chairman Peter DeFazio of the Infrastructure Committee has in his bill – which many of you worked on – emphasizes building back in a green way.  And that Congresswoman Sharice Davids is on that Committee, bringing the perspective not only at her district, but of tribal communities that are so essential to the judgments that we make when we're talking about water and building and all the rest.  So, we have the beautiful diversity of thinking geographically, generationally, ethnically and every possible way.  And we will achieve what we need to do because it's absolutely necessary.


So, let's just – what's our goal?  Our goal is to pass this legislation, a goal to meet the standards that we have: 50 percent, 2030; 100 percent, 2050.  That is our purpose and to do so in a way that is a model for the world.  We fully intend to do it.  And we couldn't do it without the leadership of our colleagues that we heard from and so many more in the Congress, but also the outside mobilizing.  So, thank you all, for being here.  So many other groups downstairs.




And I call them – thank you to your organizations, but also to your volunteers.  In this and in every other thing we do, our VIPs are our volunteers.  They are the ones that make it all happen.  So again, as has been said, this is bipartisan across the country, across the country, high numbers in support of protecting the planet.  And actually, in a poll today it said that it supports some of the things that we’ve seen about legislation, but 57 percent said they wanted to see more.  And this is what this is about.  So, we want to do more .  We want to do it now.  Climate action now.


Thank you all for participating today.




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