PENNSYLVANIA — Over the weekend, Maria C. Ocasio penned an op-ed for The Morning Call, highlighting the once-in-a-generation opportunity that Congress has to tackle “two of the biggest crises the Lehigh Valley faces today”: the economic crisis created by the COVID-19, and climate change. By passing President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, Congress can bring much needed relief to the working families of the Lehigh Valley.
Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle two of the biggest crises the Lehigh Valley faces today: the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts climate change is having on our working families by voting for President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.
The plan would tackle climate change by investing trillions of dollars in infrastructure to create union jobs, jumpstarting our economy and helping to end the current high unemployment.
At least 40% of these investments would be geared toward Black and brown communities, helping to address disinvestment and generations of systemic racism that have long forced these communities to bear the brunt of pollution and environmental degradation.
These glaring inequities in our society were highlighted by the pandemic and the protests that erupted a year ago after the murder of George Floyd.
The American Jobs Plan would tackle these problems by investing billions of dollars putting people to work building a 21st century electricity grid that is more resistant to climate change and that runs on clean, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. It would increase access to jobs weatherizing aging homes in places such as Allentown, reducing emissions while also lowering heating bills for working families. And it would improve air quality by building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure and enabling trash trucks and other municipal vehicles to switch away from diesel fuel.