For Alice Madden, executive director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment, this is a chance for the president to show how his plan will impact Colorado.
“I know he’s going to talk all about the opportunity to create jobs and clean the air by finally getting serious about climate change,” Madden said.
The White House says as of 2019, there were about 62,000 Coloradans working in clean energy and more than 33,000 electric vehicles in the state.
“We can launch a manufacturing renaissance in America by building electric cars, trucks, buses, installing more clean energy on the grid and that reduces pollution in our power sectors, makes that grid more resilient to storms, and it saves us all money,” Madden said.
Aside from the estimated 500,000 to one million jobs that could be added to the U.S every year from clean electricity policies, the White House says this plan also directly tackles climate change.
“Climate change is no longer some vague, distant threat. It’s here and now,” said Madden.
Dr. James Crooks with National Jewish Health says in Colorado, climate change doesn’t just mean bad air quality.
“It will be drying out the West and causing potentially even more severe water shocks than we’ve had for people living in the eastern U.S. They’ll have to deal with stronger hurricanes. I mean, every August for the rest of the century is going to be sort of a climate roulette,” Crooks said.
The president says his Build Back Better plan is a $2 trillion investment that will also support housing, innovation, and transit.
The plan is to start funding these projects during his first term.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re blue, green, red or purple. We have to come together. This is a time for great opportunity and some serious consequences as we don’t if we don’t act together,” Madden said.