OLYMPIA, Wash. — Democrats in Congress beamed over the passage of a multi-pronged, mega spending bill that will lower health care and prescription drug costs. But it's the portion of the bill that tackles climate change that has a local environmental advocacy group excited.
"Our reaction was one of real joy," said Mike Stevens, director of the Washington state chapter of the Nature Conservancy.
Stevens said the climate change reduction provisions in the bill are groundbreaking.
"Climate change is impacting us every single day here in Washington, around the country, and around the world. We now have a mechanism, a path to follow, to make real progress," Stevens said.
U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) also touted the landmark bill on Capitol Hill Friday, noting its promise to address climate change.
"This is the kind of moment you live for in Congress, frankly - to deliver real change, where we can say to young people you're going to have a planet because we are going to cut carbon emissions 40% by 2030," Jayapal told CNN.
Cutting back on fossil fuels is the heart of the climate portion of the bill, by incentivizing clean energy technology.
"When fully implemented, this bill will generate on the order of $9 billion of investment in Washington," Stevens said.
The Nature Conservancy identified the economic impact on Washington and estimates 10,600 jobs will be created every year for the next decade in Washington, thanks to the bill. This includes jobs in renewable energy like wind and solar.
Stevens said it also directs billions in funding toward rural, urban, and Tribal communities that have already experienced the effects of climate change, such as wildfires and flooding.
"This is a huge investment in protecting and stewarding the lands and waters that we all care about and that we all benefit from," Stevens said.
Washington state is already leading in combating the effects of climate change. Last year, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Climate Commitment Act, which aims to reduce carbon emissions in the state by 95% by 2050.