To Congress:

Millions of people across the country are facing a tidal wave of shutoffs as households are unable to get out from under the crushing weight of utility debt. That debt, which piled on during the economic and health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is in the billions of dollars nationally. Access to water, power and internet are human rights. People need relief and they need it now.

The Maintaining Access to Essential Services Act (S. 1783) from Sen. Jeff Merkley, with a companion bill from Rep. Rashida Tlaib, would provide $10 billion to help cancel household-drinking-water and wastewater debt, $10 billion to help forgive household-electricity debt and $10 billion to help forgive household-broadband debt.

This funding is tied to public protections and would require moratoria on utility shutoffs, late fees, selling consumer-utility debt to collectors and tax liens to collect utility debts. The legislation would also require service restoration for folks who are already disconnected.

Cosponsor the Maintaining Access to Essential Utilities Act today and pass it in the infrastructure package.

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    Cancel Utility Debt

    Urge Congress to #CancelUtilityDebt

    Households across the country are being crushed by a tidal wave of utility debt. That weight — which totals in the billions of dollars nationally — is decades in the making and was worsened by the economic and health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    With government supports put in place during the pandemic expiring, it's critical that we work together to ensure that people are able to access water, power and internet. No one should ever have to decide between paying their utility bills and paying for other essentials.

    Urge your members of Congress to #CancelUtilityDebt in the infrastructure package.

    This action is supported by the Utility Justice Coalition, which is led by the Center for Biological Diversity, Corporate Accountability International, The Democracy Collaborative, Food & Water Watch, Free Press Action and Partnership for Southern Equity.

    The graphic on this page was designed by Rianna Eckel.