Pass the (Imperfect) Bill. We’ll Work out the Wrinkles Later.

August 5, 2022

EarthJustice:

SOME NOTABLE WINS FOR CLIMATE IN THIS BILL:

The Inflation Reduction Act would accelerate a clean energy transition that will lower energy costs for people across this country by: 

  • Expanding access to clean energy by making clean energy tax credits more accessible and extending them by 10 years. 
  • Creating jobs and increasing our country’s energy security by investing $60 billion in manufacturing solar panels, batteries, and other clean energy technologies in the U.S.
  • Providing funding for low-income families to electrify their homes, including $9 billion in home energy rebate programs.
  • Removing barriers to community solar, an innovative solution to making solar power more accessible and affordable for the average person.

The transportation sector is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and spews massive amounts of toxic air pollution into communities across the country. This bill would help transition the sector away from fossil fuels and invest billions in zero-emissions transportation, including:

  • $3 billion for the U.S. Postal Service to electrify its fleet of more than 217,000 vehicles, the largest government fleet in the nation. 
  • $1 billion for clean school and transit buses, garbage trucks, and other heavy-duty vehicles, prioritizing communities overburdened by air pollution.
  • $3 billion to clean up air pollution at ports by installing zero emissions equipment and technology, with much of the funds going to portside communities that are breathing disproportionately high levels of toxic air pollution.
  • Tax credits for electric vehicles.

Communities of color and low-income communities face disproportionate harms from pollution and the climate crisis. Climate solutions must be led by and for these communities. This bill would fund: 

  • $315.5 million for air monitoring so that communities know exactly what’s in the air they breathe, with specific funds for schools and those living near polluting industry. 
  • $3 billion for community-led projects in areas experiencing the disproportionate impacts of pollution and climate change. 
  • The reinstatement of the Superfund Tax so that industry—not the public—foots the bill for cleaning up their pollution.
  • $550 million in assistance to those who cannot afford to pay their energy and water bills.

Industrial agriculture fuels the climate crisis – and the climate crisis in turn threatens agriculture. This bill would advance practices that make farming climate-friendly, with:

Some of the best technology for fighting the climate crisis is already available in nature. Oceans and ancient trees store carbon, shelter species facing climate catastrophe, and sustain communities. This bill would provide: 

  • $50 million to advance protections for mature and old-growth forests.
  • $2.6 billion in coastal resilience grants to fund projects, including by state and tribal governments, to protect and restore coastal communities and ecosystems.
  • $250 million to implement endangered species recovery plans and address climate change impacts on key habitats.
  • $1 billion to ensure federal agencies can conduct robust environmental and NEPA reviews and public engagement on large projects using federal funds or on federal lands.

What would the Inflation Reduction Act mean for you? It includes tax credits and rebates to help people electrify their homes and vehicles, including:

  • A 30% tax credit for installing residential solar panels.
  • Up to $7,500 for purchasing an electric vehicle.
  • Up to $14,000 for home energy efficiency upgrades, including up to $8,000 to install a heat pump.
  • Making these changes could help families save $1,800 per year on energy bills and make their costs more stable and predictable compared with volatile fossil fuel prices.

THE COST OF A COMPROMISE:

  • The bill includes tax credits for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) that could extend the life of dirty coal plants, which would make it harder to reach critical targets for clean power while exposing residents to toxic coal pollution.
  • It mandates the federal government to offer up parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet for oil and gas development. It also requires additional oil and gas leasing in order for new wind and solar projects to be approved.
  • There is a side deal to move a separate bill in September for so-called “permitting reform” that could weaken core protections under the National Environmental Policy Act, the federal law that gives communities a voice in what happens to the environment around them.

2 Responses to “Pass the (Imperfect) Bill. We’ll Work out the Wrinkles Later.”


  1. Something is better then nothing. There are such thing as a perfect bills.


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