Another World is Inevitable
In the coming decades, a green transition will transform the global economy—or else. Green capitalists pretend this transition can be accomplished within the political and economic system that necessitated it. Everything will change, except the power held by the wealthy. A Green New Deal envisions a transition driven by and for the interests of the many, not the few. The climate provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act are no Green New Deal, but their huge investments provide the terrain for struggle between these two visions. DSA’s Building For Power campaign aims to win local battles to direct these and other green investments toward public goods, not private profits, across its four strategic areas: public power, green social housing, expanding public transit, and public spaces and facilities.
Private Profit vs. Public Power: Publicly owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives across the country are the fruit of a 20th century struggle for public power—and they are often heavily invested in that century’s technology. The Inflation Reduction Act extends important clean energy tax credits and makes co-ops and public utilities fully eligible for the first time, giving communities an opportunity to make sure a green transition is not an excuse to give up democratic control.
Palaces vs. Public Space: Both bills provide a variety of opportunities to invest in greening public facilities, along the lines of the the New Deals for Public Schools campaign, and to knit together more walkable, liveable communities, if local governments can be pushed to take advantage of the opportunity.
Landlords vs. Social Housing: Many of the incentives for improved home energy efficiency in the Inflation Reduction Act benefit homeowners and landlords, rather than tenants. Intervening as these programs are implemented on the ground can increase the share of this funding going to working people through programs such as the Pennsylvania Whole-Home Repairs Program championed by DSA-affiliated state senator Nikil Saval, which became law at the end of last year.
Teslas vs. Public Transit: While subsidies for private automobiles dominate the Inflation Reduction Act, $108 billion in funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents a huge down payment toward a public transit system that meets the needs of communities and the planet.
Public Power: bit.ly/prospect-power
Rural Electric Co-ops: bit.ly/sierra-coops
Active Transportation: bit.ly/r2t-active
Public Transit: bit.ly/apta-transit
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