-For Immediate Release-
Dan Xie, Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), Political Director, 858-353-1452
Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, 678-427-1671, [email protected]
St. Petersburg, FL – 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. Student PIRGs Political Director Dan Xie 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. Young people, their families, and their communities 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.
Dan Xie, Political Director for the Student PIRGs, released the following statement:
“Young people have led the fight for climate solutions for decades and won many victories on their campuses and in their communities, but this law will supercharge our progress even more with a jolt of (renewable) power. That’s critical since we should be powering our lives with 100% 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 future for the next generation 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.”
WASHPIRG Students leader and Senior at University of Washington Parnian Karimi released the following statement:
“Young people won’t have a safe, secure future if we don’t rein in the pollution that’s harming our health and wreaking havoc with our climate. The Inflation Reduction Act makes great strides on both fronts. It will make polluters pay to clean up toxic waste, which is good news for young people living near Superfund sites. And the tax credits will help make it affordable for young people and their families to switch to electric vehicles, put solar panels on their roofs and purchase cleaner, healthier electric appliances that don’t pump pollution into our homes and air.
“Students across the country support President Biden and Congress for enacting this law. But, it’s far from perfect. The law’s subsidies for fossil fuel companies are a counterproductive waste of taxpayer dollars. And, some members of Congress now want to gut environmental protections to make it easier to build pipelines and other fossil fuel projects–which would be a big leap in the wrong direction. Instead, we should double down on the climate solutions in the IRA, from electric buses to heat pumps, that are a win for our health, consumers, and the planet.”