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

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PHILADELPHIA– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia have reached a deal on a federal 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: 

  • Up to a $7,500 tax credit for consumers to buy new electric vehicles and a $4,000 tax credit for consumers to buy used 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.

  • $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, such as 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 that also includes some provisions that will benefit fossil fuel development, including requiring lease sales for offshore drilling. 

PennEnvironment’s Field Director Flora Cardoni released the following statement:

“We’ve long believed 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, droughts, and floods, and as we watch the natural world diminish 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 energy, we can stop the worst impacts of the climate crisis. And states, cities, campuses, companies, and individuals are already building this cleaner, healthier future we all deserve.

“The Inflation Reduction Act would supercharge progress towards a 100% renewable energy future with some of the best federal tools available to tackle climate change: tax credits. These credits 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 also does not protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. These pieces should be fixed. But even as written, this bill 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.”