The Inflation Reduction Act And Its Implications
The Inflation Reduction Act cleared the US Senate over the weekend (August 5-7, 2022)! It's expected to pass the House this week and get signed into law shortly after. This is a watershed moment for climate and the upcoming elections.
Once signed into law, the IRA will be the biggest federal climate bill in US history since the danger of climate change was recognized over 4 decades ago.
As a top line summary, the bill puts the US at the forefront of building a clean energy economy for a decade, focusing investment into disadvantaged communities, and creating 9 million new good paying jobs across a number of sectors. It is projected to save households $1,000/year on energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 40% from the 2005 level by 2030.
The bill contains some compromises in order to secure the vote of Senator Manchin. However, according to expert analysis, the good in the bill outweighs the bad in a ratio of 95:5. We can further reduce the impact of the compromises through organizing and, crucially, through continuing the clean energy evolution, which will be greatly accelerated by the investments made possible by the bill.
Check out a detailed summary of the climate related provisions in the 700+ page bill put together by EverGreen Action. If you prefer audio, David Roberts hosted a podcast with Dr. Leah Stoke and Jesse Jenkins which provided great explanations, as well.
Many of you have contributed to the success of the bill. It's not just the direct advocacy to support the passage of the bill and its previous versions ("Build Back Better''), but also your contribution to help flip the House in 2018, the White House in November 2020, and the Senate in January 2021. Without your efforts and the Blue Wave, this bill wouldn't have been possible.
Of course, as significant as this bill is, it's not going to be enough. It's not even enough to meet the Paris climate goals. We need to continue pushing forward in states, and we need to maintain and expand the congressional majority to prevent backlash and push for more ambitious bills down the road. In addition, we still face the challenge of protecting our democracy and keeping the right wing SCOTUS in check.
The passage of the IRA will put wind at our back, though. We need to redouble our effort, continue to organize and engage, and use this opportunity to say NO to right wing extremism and put our country back on the right track. Let's get to work!
-Ning, Founder and President [bio]