Texas's historic winter storm reminds us of how deadly the loss of power, water and internet can be. And with utility companies opportunistically hiking up rates in the state, Texans are now at risk of losing power because they can't afford it. They're primed to join the tens of thousands of families who have lost their utilities during the coronavirus pandemic and the many more at risk of shutoffs due to rampant unemployment.
The country's largest electric utilities have continued to profit throughout the pandemic — money that could and should have been used to stop disconnections and save lives. We'll never make lasting progress on the climate emergency if powerful fossil fuel and utility companies keep getting a free pass to line their pockets at the expense of the people.
Thankfully Sens. Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown and other congressional champions are fighting to pass a nationwide moratorium on utility shutoffs in the upcoming American Rescue Plan. We must make sure Congress passes real COVID relief now so we can tackle the climate crisis and pervasive energy injustice before it's too late.
Tell Congress to support COVID relief and a utility-shutoff moratorium in the American Rescue Plan of 2021.