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  • Writer's pictureNorth Shore Democrats of Travis County

Despite name, President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is the largest environmental law in US history



By Mike Killalea, NSD president

Americans are becoming more concerned about climate change, and might not recognize the enormous benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest single step ever taken in the US to tackle climate change. (1)


Regrettably, The Inflation Reduction Act might be one of the most wildly misnamed statute in recent history. Enacted in August 2022, the IRA includes nearly $370 billion in investments in disadvantaged communities, prioritizing projects that repurpose retired fossil fuel infrastructure and employ displaced workers, setting the U.S. on a course toward a fair, equitable and economic clean energy transition. (2,3)


About one-quarter of US adults believe the IRA has helped people like them:





The guidebook available from the reference provides an overview of the clean energy, climate mitigation and resilience, agriculture, and conservation-related investment programs in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, including who is eligible to apply for funding and for what activities. Get it at https://www.whitehouse.gov/cleanenergy/inflation-reduction-act-guidebook/


IRA benefits to exceed $5 trillion through 2050

A US Treasury analysis finds global benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act to exceed $5 trillion between now and 2050 from improved air pollution, climate, health and productivity. (4)


But passing the Inflation Reduction Act was just the first step. In the year and a half since its enactment, the administration has focused on developing tax credit guidance and launching programs to implement its many clean energy provisions.


Earning top marks in climate action, however, will require continuing timely and equitable implementation of the legislation while taking additional action to fill policy gaps. (5)


According to the World Resources Council (WRI), the Biden Adminstration has made progress on nine of 10 key areas, despite pushback from climate-deniers.(6)





Concern about extreme weather drives desire for climate action

70% of Americans support the US working to reduce climate change, finds a new CBS News/YouGov poll. And 69% of Americans who experienced extreme weather think it should be done right now. (7)


Meanwhile, 34% of Americans who have not experienced extreme weather say climate change should be addressed right now. Key takeaway: extreme weather at home drives people's sense of climate urgency. (7)


Manufacturing credit

Nearly three dozen companies across 20 states have received $1.93 billion under the Inflation Reduction Act's tax credit for advanced manufacturing facilities, according to the Energy Department.


Ranging from electrolyzer making in Virginia to repurposing EV batteries for the grid in Alabama to producing steel for offshore wind in Ohio, these companies are reviving U.S. manufacturing.(8)


Financing network

The White House is releasing $20 billion from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund created under the Inflation Reduction Act to create a first-of-its-kind national clean energy financing network.


The funds, which EPA already received from Congress, will be given to 8 community-led financial institutions to finance clean energy projects in low-income communities across the country.(9)



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