OPB Politics Now is a weekly podcast that takes a deep dive into the hottest political topics in Oregon and the Northwest. Every Friday, OPB’s political reporters and special guests offer in-depth analysis, discussion and insight into candidates, events and issues.
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About a year ago, President Biden laid out his climate agenda. That agenda has since been roughly split into two Congressional actions: An infrastructure bill that passed last summer with bipartisan support, and the Build Back Better Act that still sits with the Senate. Recently, EPIC Policy Fellow Heather McTeer Toney, vice president of community engagement for the Environmental Defense Fund, and EPIC Journalism Fellow, Lisa Friedman, a climate policy reporter for The New York Times, sat down to talk about where things stand with climate change in the United States. Key to the discussion was the fact that the communities on the frontlines of climate impacts—often poor and minority communities—are seeing the money trickle down from the infrastructure bill and those communities are putting that money to work in building resiliency. In their eyes, Heather McTeer Toney said, we are already “building back better.”