Majority of House Democrats urge keeping climate provisions in infrastructure package

Majority of House Democrats urge keeping climate provisions in infrastructure package
© Getty Images

The majority of House Democrats urged President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE to ensure a bipartisan infrastructure package includes climate provisions in a letter Thursday.

In the letter, led by Reps. Mike Levin (D-Calif.), Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsNY Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 in latest House breakthrough case Florida Democrat becomes latest breakthrough COVID-19 case in House Interior Secretary Haaland gets married in New Mexico MORE (D-Kan.) and Andy Kim (D-N.J.), 134 House Democrats called for the final version of the package to include five key climate provisions.

These include the full replacement of all lead pipes and service lines, increased proliferation of electric vehicles, environmental justice provisions, damaged land restoration/reclamation and creation of high-quality union jobs in the clean energy sector.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are eager to help advance through Congress a strong American Jobs Plan that employs our communities and matches the scale of the challenge climate science tells us we face,” they wrote. “Ultimately, we urge you and our colleagues to act with the goal of ensuring the final legislative package gets across the finish line in the coming months while maintaining our key jobs and climate goals.”

The letter comes as the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has increasingly sought to pressure the White House to preserve climate action in the American Jobs Plan. Activists with the advocacy group Sunrise Movement protested outside the White House on Monday, with Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMcCarthy on Dems' spending bill: 'The amount of money we spent to win World War II' On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Photos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress MORE (D-N.Y.) addressing the demonstration.

The White House has denied climate provisions are on the chopping block after the announcement of a bipartisan infrastructure deal. Appearing at a White House press briefing Wednesday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael ReganMichael ReganFormer EPA chief to chair pro-Trump think tank's environmental center Overnight Energy & Environment — Effort to repeal Arctic refuge drilling advances EPA seeks protections for Alaska's Bristol Bay, undercutting mining project MORE defended the bipartisan agreement as “historic.”

“This is a historic investment, this is the largest investment in American history, both on water infrastructure but we also see some strong movement on climate,” Regan said Wednesday. “It’s a critical first step, but the president is holding tight to his vision and the president is looking closely at all the suite of options he has.”