The Inflation Reduction Act is a strong start

It took too long and it’s not enough, but the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, AKA the climate bill, represent a major climate victory worth celebrating. | August 9, 2022

On Tuesday August, 16th, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, taking the most significant federal legislative action on climate in American history. Measures in the bill will put the country on a path to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent over 2005 peak levels. The climate legislation is aimed at accomplishing three goals: 

  1. Drastically reducing carbon pollution,
  2. Creating millions of good-paying jobs, and 
  3. Allocating tens of billions to communities harmed by environmental injustices. 

The bill is also a major economic win for people in the Northwest and beyond. Rewiring America notes that if households invest in climate-friendly and energy efficient technologies with financial support from this bill, it could help the average household save $1,800 on energy bills every year. Moreover, the legislation will create an estimated 9 million jobs

After years of infuriating political gridlock, backsliding on environmental protections, and increasingly frequent and deadly climate disasters, the climate movement is breaking through at the national level. A Data for Progress poll shows 73 percent of American voters support the Inflation Reduction Act, which also closes some tax loopholes for mega-corporations and helps lower healthcare and prescription drug prices. 

We are all tired, but this victory should not be understated — please take a moment to celebrate. Know that your climate advocacy here in the Pacific Northwest has been — and continues to be — an integral part of the broader climate movement. From pushing Washington’s elected leaders to hold stronger positions on climate, to setting bold clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets, to holding the line against countless fossil fuel expansion projects, you’ve helped chart a new course for the entire country. Thank you. 

Join us in taking a moment to thank your lawmakers for their support of climate action and environmental protection. It’s important we let them know that we appreciate their leadership and that we will call on them to keep pushing for climate progress in the pivotal months and years ahead. If one or more of your local lawmakers did not vote for the bill, our form will let you know and will give you the option to tell them to do better next time.

This bill is both a tremendous accomplishment and insufficient action on its own to ensure a thriving, just and climate-resilient future for Northwest Washington. This bill allocates substantial funding, but it’ll be on us to make sure state and local programs are in place to maximize the benefits these federal dollars can have in our region.

Over the course of the past year, climate provisions in what began as the Build Back Better agenda were whittled down through negotiations. Getting to a passable bill required compromises with Sen. Joe Manchin that will make permitting and funding new energy projects, including fossil fuel projects, quicker and easier in the short term. In 2022, it is clear that every new fossil fuel investment represents a threat to public health and safety. Our movement must ensure that we don’t repeat past injustices as we build out new energy infrastructure. At the state and local level, we must hold leaders accountable and prevent further displacing, burdening, and endangering communities disproportionately impacted by historic environmental injustice, including Black, Indigenous and other communities of color.

Join us as we move forward in this process of fostering a just transition to a clean energy future, buoyed with renewed climate optimism. If you haven’t already, take our 100% Northwest pledge — we’ll send you timely, local actions to help make this transition by 2030. 

Thank you once again for using your voice to call for climate action. It looked bleak at times, but today the sound of our collective voices is louder and more powerful than it’s ever been. A brighter future is 100% possible.

Want to dive into the details of what climate and energy provisions of the bill will actually fund? Check out this explainer from Rewiring America.