ECCC Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act
The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act by Democrats and signed into law today by President Biden is a historic achievement and true cause for celebration. This legislation is a game changer; it will create jobs, lower costs, increase U.S. competitiveness, reduce air pollution and, of course, tackle the climate crisis. It will also significantly impact international climate action, especially heading to Egypt’s COP27 this November.
The landmark legislation includes an unprecedented investment of $369 billion in measures to promote renewable energy and mitigate climate change. It is expected to raise $739 billion in revenue from a new corporate minimum tax and improved tax enforcement, will reduce the federal deficit by $300 billion, and allow Medicare to negotiate the price of life saving drugs.
As another summer of devastating climate catastrophes rage globally, Democrats have risen to the moment with this legislation to bring hope to our planet. The U.S., the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally, is now on its way to meeting their climate commitments and leading the world by example.
The new legislation will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing renewable and clean energy sources to replace fossil fuels, significantly lowering production costs of wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries for electric cars and incentivizing the private sector to employ wind, solar, and geo-thermally generated energy. The bill also provides tax incentives for private citizens to install solar panels and heat pumps in their homes and to buy electric vehicles.
In coordination with President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, the construction of rapid charging stations will be ramped up across the entire country, in both rural and urban areas, where there is little penetration of electric vehicles.
The Inflation Reduction Act allocates close to $50 billion to address environmental justice concerns, including $27 billion for a “green bank” to invest in public-private partnerships that cut emissions and $8 billion specifically directed to disadvantaged communities. $2 billion has also been allocated for further research in new technologies in fusion and high-energy physics. Most emissions reductions, predicted to drop to 40% of those in 2005 by 2030, will stem from the power and infrastructure sectors, with carbon capture expected to increase thirteen-fold.
The Inflation Reduction Act is a stunning legislative achievement. We must continue the work, nonetheless, of bridging the remaining 10% gap in the 50% emissions commitments made by the Biden administration. This includes completely phasing out fossil fuels, blocking drilling on federal lands and waters, and fighting for action and environmental justice for the Black, brown, Indigenous and poorer communities who already bear the disproportionate brunt of this climate and environmental crisis.
We therefore continue to urge the President to declare a National Climate Emergency. Please join us and sign our ECCC National Climate Emergency Petition.
Critically, we can only advance by (re-)electing Democratic leaders in November. We urge you register and request your ballot at www.votefromabroad.org -- and make sure your friends and family, at home and broad, have a plan to vote as well.
To keep up to date and active with Democrats Abroad efforts to tackle climate change, please join our Environment and Climate Crisis Council by clicking here.