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  • Christina Krost

Let's Secure Strong Climate Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

With heavy news bombarding headlines recently, climate justice advocates witnessed a glimmer of hope last week with a game-changing clean energy and climate package—the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022— charging towards the Senate.

Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a key centrist Democrat, announced last Wednesday that he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to include hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs in a package to subsidize health care and lower the cost of prescription drugs, less than two weeks after abruptly upending hopes for such an agreement this summer in the Reconciliation Bill.

In fact, you may remember our Policy Team traveling to Washington, D.C. to ask our legislators to pass the Reconciliation Bill with strong climate provisions back in May.

You likely filled out our petition asking your representatives to support essential climate provisions or, perhaps, amplified our messages on social media asking certain senators to act on climate rather than enrich their own bank accounts. Together, we unified around one message—we must act now to protect people and the planet.

You weren’t alone. And it worked!

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is the most significant climate bill in history, with $369 billion in investments for climate justice and clean energy. This legislation provides historic levels of funding for climate and energy investments to cut emissions by over 40% by 2030, and jumpstart the clean energy economy—which will lead to a more just and healthy future for generations to come. It also includes prescription drug and medical savings and will be paid for by rolling back tax cuts on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

This bill gives us a lot to be hopeful about, including:

  • Lowers energy costs for Americans through policies that will lower prices at the pump and on electricity bills

  • Helps consumers afford technologies that will lower emissions and energy prices, and reduce costs that would otherwise be passed on to them

  • Increases American energy security through policies to support energy reliability and cleaner production coupled with historic investments in American clean energy manufacturing to lessen our reliance on China, ensuring that the transition to a clean economy creates millions of American manufacturing jobs and is powered by American-made clean technologies

  • Invests in decarbonizing all sectors of the economy through targeted federal support of innovative climate solutions

  • Focuses investments into disadvantaged communities to ensure that communities who are too-often left behind will share in the benefits of the transition to a clean economy

  • Supports resilient rural communities by investing in farmers and forestland owners to be part of growing climate solutions, while ensuring rural and communities are able to better adapt to a rapidly changing climate.

You can read a full summary of climate provisions here.

However, there are a few troubling provisions that will require further advocacy and attention.

The bill would require the Interior Department to offer at least 2 million acres of public lands and 60 million acres of offshore waters for oil and gas leasing each year for a decade as a prerequisite to installing any new solar or wind energy. The bill also proposed an expanded tax credit for carbon capture, storage, and sequestration, as well as language regarding permitting reform that policy experts are still looking over.

While this legislation is hopeful, our fight is not over. Congress must meet this urgent climate moment and pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 immediately. It will take bold executive action from the Biden Administration, as well as state and local leadership to get this plan implemented in time to make a real difference.

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