Dear President Biden
April 21, 2022
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Biden:
As you have said, we’ve already waited too long to address the climate crisis. And there’s no time to waste.
Scientists, economists and energy experts have warned us of the catastrophic costs if we fail to act immediately. Climate-related tragedies are already a reality for too many American families. In just 15 months in office, you have visited communities across the country struggling to recover from deadly storms, devastating wildfires, extreme floods, and disastrous hurricanes. You understand what it is like for hard-working families on tight budgets to grapple with high gas prices. You know our need to transition to a clean energy future is more urgent than ever.
The actions you’ve already taken to protect our planet and build resilient infrastructure are unprecedented. You persisted in passing bipartisan infrastructure legislation which made historic investments to ensure our infrastructure systems are more resilient to climate disasters and to modernize the electric grid to deliver more electricity from clean sources. You had the US re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement, as part of your commitment to cut emissions by 50% by 2030. And you’ve done more.
These are important actions, but alone, they are not enough to address the climate crisis. As you have stated, we must “do all we possibly can.” We agree. We must meet this moment and doing so requires bold legislative and administrative action. This is a legacy defining moment, Mr. President, and without enacting the $555 billion in climate investments that the House has passed we simply cannot meet our climate goals.
You can fulfill the vision for climate action that defined your historic campaign; meet the pledge you made to your voters, including young people, during your campaign; and show the world what a true climate president looks like. We are depending on you to do everything you possibly can to meet this moment and work with the Senate to pass a reconciliation package that puts the U.S. on the path to real energy independence while cutting emissions in half by 2030 and building an equitable, inclusive, and just future for all.
It’s time to close the deal and get this done.
You have never backed away from a challenge. And there is no doubt that this is a challenging moment with Vladimir Putin’s unjustified and horrific war and the growing frustration with gas prices. But this moment also presents the greatest economic opportunity we have to lower costs for families, create millions of good paying jobs, tackle environmental injustices, and secure real energy independence. Now is the time for you to deliver for the American people.
Over the past months, you have met with and heard from corporations and fossil fuel executives, many of whom are standing in the way of meaningful climate action. As environmental, environmental justice and public health leaders, we want you to hear directly from us as well. We are eager to help you, Mr. President, to meet your moment on climate. The consequences of inaction for current and future generations are too great to bear. Let’s get it done.
John Podesta, Center for American Progress
Margie Alt, Climate Action Campaign
Lori Lodes, Climate Power
Abbie Dillen, Earthjustice
Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund
Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters
Dr. Elena Rios, National Hispanic Medical Association
Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation
Manish Bapna, Natural Resources Defense Council
Tom Steyer, Founder, NextGen America
Dan Chu, Sierra Club
Johanna Chao Kreilick, Union of Concerned Scientists
Peggy Shepard, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
The PDF version of this letter can be found here.