100% Renewable

State directors head to White House event to celebrate climate law

Tuesday ceremony will focus on new law to promote clean energy, lower U.S. emissions

Wendy Wendlandt wearing Act Now on Climate baseball cap, speaks behind a podium.
CALSSA | TPIN
Wendy Wendlandt speaks at Save Solar rally in California

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 America state directors and staff with The Public Interest Network are traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the ceremony, including:

  • Wendy Wendlandt, the California-based president of Environment America
  • Celeste Meiffren-Swango, director of Environment Oregon
  • Jennette Gayer, director of Environment Georgia
  • Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey
  • David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment
  • Flora Cardoni, field director for PennEnvironment
  • Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas

Joining them: Lisa Frank, executive director of Environment America’s Washington Legislative Office; Sean Hoffmann, federal legislative advocate with Environment America; Danny Katz, director of CoPIRG (Colorado Public Interest Research Group); Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG’s Massachusetts-based environment campaigns director; and Dan Xie, political director for the Student PIRGs.

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. 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.

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