Invest in clean energy

Published 6:51 am Tuesday, July 6, 2021

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To the Editor:

Early this year, many of us took a collective deep breath of relief as we watched both the House and Senate become majority Democrat. We have high hopes and we plan to hold our representatives to the goals they have set for themselves and our communities. For the last few months, we have sat patiently watching our leaders negotiate a once-in-a-generation sized infrastructure policy. Now is the time for action on a package that includes climate, jobs and justice.

Clean energy investments have an impressive job-creating track record. The U.S. can create 25 million new jobs by 2035 by investing in projects that cut pollution from the sectors using existing technologies. And an analysis from UC Berkeley finds that building a 90% clean grid can support over half a million jobs each year, many of which are family-sustaining, union jobs.

Right now is also our moment to recover from COVID and create millions of good-paying jobs. There are 10 million fewer jobs and more than 2.5 million women and 1.8 million men have left the workforce entirely since the pandemic started. At the same time, the Earth’s climate continues to change and we continue to spew pollution into the air. This devastates human health and God’s creation, creating a profound moral failure.

Together with Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, an organization that collaborates with people of faith to advance climate justice, faith leaders in Virginia and members of Interfaith Power and Light nationwide, are taking action by demanding our legislators pass the American Jobs Plan. We all need to let Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine know that now is the time to pass a once-in-a-generation investment plan that will put people back to work in jobs that contribute to both cutting pollution and planning for the effects of climate change!

Hira Azher

Communications and Digital Outreach Coordinator

Virginia Interfaith Power and Light