Statement: Environment Oregon state director heads to White House event to celebrate Inflation Reduction Act

Media Contacts
Susan Kaplan

Former Media Relations Manager

PORTLAND— Four weeks after President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, the White House will host an event on Sept. 13 to celebrate this unprecedented plan to fund climate action. Environment Oregon state director Celeste Meiffren-Swango will join about a dozen colleagues from The Public Interest Network and hundreds of other people at the ceremony in Washington. She is available for interviews leading up to or after the 3:00 p.m. ET event on Tuesday.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes the United States’ largest investment ever in policies designed to stymie climate change. It allocates roughly $370 billion in tax credits and other programs to expand clean energy and reduce planet-warming pollution. Oregonians, our communities and school districts can take advantage of these opportunities. The law invests in:

  • Clean energy: The United States has enough wind and solar resources to power the country many times over, according to a report by Environment America Research & Policy Center. The Inflation Reduction Act includes $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs to electrify home appliances and for energy efficient retrofits; 10 years of consumer tax credits to make heat pumps, rooftop solar, electric HVAC and water heaters more affordable so homes can be more energy efficient and run on clean energy; and a $10 billion investment tax credit to build clean technology manufacturing facilities, including facilities that make electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels. 
  • Electric vehicles: More than a dozen states require a rising share of new cars to be electric. The Inflation Reduction Act provides a $4,000 tax credit for consumers to buy used electric vehicles and up to a $7,500 tax credit for consumers to buy new EVs; $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.
  • Pollution reduction and natural climate solutions: The law includes a reinstated “polluter pays” tax to increase funding to clean up Superfund toxic waste sites. A report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund found clean-up efforts stalled when polluters were not responsible for funding cleanup. Also enacted: a methane emissions reduction program and $50 million to inventory and protect old-growth forests, which absorb global-warming carbon emissions, on National Forest System land.

The bill represents a compromise and includes some provisions that will benefit fossil fuel development, including requiring lease sales for offshore drilling and tax incentives that would help coal and gas plants. However, modeling by Energy Innovation found emissions increases from these provisions are offset 24 to 1 by the bill’s climate-friendly provisions. The researchers also found that ​​implementing the bill could prevent 3,700 to 3,900 deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks each year by 2030.

Celeste Meiffren-Swango, state director of Environment Oregon, released the following statement:

“Oregon recently committed to 100% clean electricity by 2040, and this new federal law will supercharge our progress even more with a jolt of (renewable) power. That’s critical since we should be powering all aspects of our lives with clean, green, renewable energy. President Biden just gave us a big boost by signing this law, and we thank all our members of Congress who voted for it. 

“This climate legislation is a huge step. But it’s a start to, not the culmination of, our work to reduce global warming pollution and ensure clean air, clean water and the preservation of open spaces. Progress towards a greener, healthier Oregon and country depends on our bedrock environmental protections, including the National Environmental Policy Act. We oppose any legislative attempts to weaken core environmental protections and call on our federal lawmakers to do the same.”