Plan will rebuild the economy with clean energy, green jobs and racial justice in mind

“We look forward to an infrastructure plan that creates jobs, addresses the climate crisis and ensures the protection of wildlife in the nation’s lands, waters and skies,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO, Defenders of Wildlife. “Defenders of Wildlife applauds the administration for focusing on long-standing social and economic issues that have been largely ignored and will work tirelessly, in partnership with the Biden administration, to ensure that this plan puts us on a path to protect and conserve imperiled wildlife.”

Washington, DC

Today in Pittsburgh, President Biden announced his American Jobs Plan, which will speed up the transition to clean energy, repeal subsidies and foreign tax credits or the fossil fuel industry and tackle social and racial inequities in energy development. 

Particularly important for wildlife, it proposes investments to encourage the resiliency of lands and waters to ecological changes wrought by a changing climate, especially by fostering natural infrastructure solutions and establishes a Civilian Climate Corps. A Civilian Climate Corps would put countless Americans to work on our public lands to restore habitat and create healthier ecosystems. 

These priorities hold the promise of simultaneously creating jobs and strengthening national efforts to promote habitat restoration and connectivity and support conservation initiatives such as the Legacy Roads and Trails program. The Legacy Roads and Trails program confronts the problem of obsolete and decaying roads and trails and will help wildlife, taxpayers and the 66 million Americans who rely on our National Forests for clean drinking water. 

Responsible investments in roads and bridges will result in new wildlife crossings and corridors around the country, increasing terrestrial and aquatic habitat connectivity.
Conservation leaders have overall been supportive of the $2 trillion plan. 

“The Biden administration has developed a strong infrastructure plan that addresses social and racial inequities, protects clean drinking water, speeds our transition to renewable energy and restores natural infrastructure and habitat for imperiled species,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO, Defenders of Wildlife.

Biden's plan includes congressional funding for: $35 billion in clean technology research and development to address the climate crisis, $50 billion for infrastructure and environmental resilience, $111 billion to improve the country's drinking water systems, including eliminating all lead water pipes and service lines in the country and deliver 40% of the benefits from U.S. climate action and other investments to the disadvantaged communities hit hardest by climate change and pollution. 

“We look forward to an infrastructure plan that creates jobs, addresses the climate crisis and ensures the protection of wildlife in the nation’s lands, waters and skies,” said Clark. “Defenders of Wildlife applauds the administration for focusing on long-standing social and economic issues that have been largely ignored and will work tirelessly, in partnership with the Biden administration, to ensure that this plan puts us on a path to protect and conserve imperiled wildlife.” 

As a result of human-related activities, the loss of species is accelerating faster than ever before in human history, according to scientists. A comprehensive study recently found that bird populations in North America are undergoing massive declines – a stunning 3 billion birds have been lost from the continent since 1970. What’s more, up to 1 million plant and animal species face extinction, many within decades.
 

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

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Gwen Dobbs
Gwen Dobbs
Director of Media Relations
gdobbs@defenders.org
(202) 772-0269

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