Statement: Inflation Reduction Act could be a ‘game changer’ for climate and clean energy

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia have reached a deal on a reconciliation bill that would represent the nation’s largest ever investment in clean energy and climate solutions. The Inflation Reduction Act includes nearly $370 billion in climate spending, designed to achieve a 40% emissions reduction by 2030. Already submitted to the Senate Parliamentarian, the bill could come up for a vote in the coming weeks.

Among the clean energy and climate provisions, the bill includes: 

  • A $4,000 tax credit for consumers to buy used EVs and up to a $7,500 tax credit for consumers to buy new electric vehicles, $3 billion for electric U.S. Postal Service trucks, $1 billion for electric heavy duty vehicles, such as school buses and garbage trucks, and $3 billion for zero-emission technology at U.S. ports.

  • $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs to electrify home appliances and for energy efficient retrofits and 10 years of consumer tax credits to make homes energy efficient and run on clean energy, making heat pumps, rooftop solar, electric HVAC and water heaters more affordable.

  • $10 billion investment tax credit to build clean technology manufacturing facilities, like facilities that make electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels.

  • A methane emissions reduction program.

  • A reinstated “polluter pays” tax to increase funding to clean up Superfund sites

  • $50 million to inventory and protect old-growth forests, which serve as critical natural carbon sinks, on National Forest System land.

The bill as currently written represents a compromise and includes some provisions that will benefit fossil fuel development, including requiring lease sales for offshore drilling. 

Environment America Washington Legislative Office Executive Director Lisa Frank released the following statement:

“We as Americans believe that the future can be brighter than the past. This long-held belief has led generations  to create, build and invest. But as we struggle through ever-worsening heat waves, drought and fire, and as we watch the natural world diminishing around us, climate change and other severe environmental challenges are increasingly casting a shadow on our vision for the future. 

“A brighter future can still be ours. By committing to 100% renewable power and perfecting clean energy technologies, states, cities, campuses, companies and individuals are already building it. The Inflation Reduction Act would supercharge that progress with some of the best federal tools available to tackle climate change: tax credits. These credits that would help Americans go solar, buy electric vehicles and retrofit their homes – all at an unprecedented scale. We’ve been building a clean energy future with hammers and nails; this bill could provide us with the power tools to accelerate construction. 

“The bill isn’t perfect: it creates roadblocks to offshore wind expansion and threatens ocean life with continued offshore drilling; unlike legislation the House passed last year, the bill does not protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, often described as ‘America’s Serengeti,’ from drilling. These pieces should be fixed. But it would do more for our climate than any legislation ever passed, and not a moment too soon. We applaud President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Manchin, and all those who have worked on the Inflation Reduction Act and look forward to evaluating the final version.”

U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director Matt Casale issued the following statement:

“As the saying goes, we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. But when it comes to climate change, we’re short-changing future generations. There’s a lot to do to fix the damage, but ultimately, the Inflation Reduction Act could be a game changer.

“Even if this bill passes, work remains to be done. Not everything in the bill is perfect, but the clean energy tax credits in particular will inject a jolt of (renewable) energy into state and local efforts to reduce emissions and clean the air. They will help make it affordable for Americans of all stripes to switch to electric vehicles, put solar panels on their roofs and purchase cleaner, healthier electric appliances that don’t pump pollution in our homes and communities. The funding in the bill will help electrify the U.S. Postal fleet and help communities clean up toxic Superfund sites, while requiring polluters to bear the cost. 

“We thank President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Manchin, the committee chairs and all the others who have worked so hard to reach this deal, and hope to see a final version of the bill that moves us toward a cleaner, healthier America that we can proudly leave for our children.”