The U.S. Senate took a crucial step toward approving an historic package of climate crisis and environmental justice investments, after the Inflation Reduction Act passed on a 51-50 party-line vote with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
The bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, also contains major provisions to address the high costs of healthcare, as well as tax code changes to finance the bill’s spending and achieve some modest reduction in budget deficits.
Final negotiations with Senate Democratic holdout Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and rulings by the Senate Parliamentarian on what could be included in a budget package immune from filibuster rules, made some changes to the non-climate elements of the bill. However, the climate and environmental action parts of the package survived intact.
The League of Conservation Voters calls the Inflation Reduction Act “a huge step forward on climate action [which would] put our country on a path to reduce carbon emissions by close to 40 percent by 2030. With $369 billion in investments in climate and clean energy, this bill would be by far the most important action Congress has ever taken to address climate change.”
Actions in the bill include direct consumer tax credits for electric vehicle purchases (new and used) and to make homes more energy efficient; investments in bringing clean energy to underserved communities; a fee on excess methane emissions from oil and gas drilling; environmental grants targeted to minority and other disadvantaged communities; boosts to domestic clean energy manufacturing; other moves to decarbonize the economy; and more.
“With over $360 billion in clean energy, clean transportation, and energy efficiency investments, the Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant climate bill in American history. It will tackle our climate crisis with justice for the hardest-hit communities while saving people money and creating the American-made solar, wind, battery storage, and clean car manufacturing and installation jobs of the future,” said Carrie Clark, NCLCV’s Executive Director.
Take action to tell our representatives in Congress to pass this landmark legislation now.