The U.S. House of Representatives gave final Congressional approval to the largest package of investments to meet the climate crisis in American history. Those investments, part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), now go to President Biden for his signature into law.
The bill’s passage was approved on party-line votes in both the Senate (51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie) and 220-207 in the House. This will be a major political triumph for Congressional Democrats and President Biden over the equally unified opposition of their Republican counterparts.
From the standpoint of citizens and institutions calling for meaningful action to address the climate crisis, this legislation also provides long-overdue proof that the United States is committed to doing our part to save our planet’s biosphere as we know it. It demonstrates that the democratic process is still capable of functioning, despite the bitter opposition of politicians and special interest groups who attempt to deny the reality of ongoing climate change.
NCLCV’s Director of Clean Energy Campaigns, Montravias King, reacted with enthusiasm and determination: “We did it! Congress just passed the most consequential climate legislation in our nation’s history. The Inflation Reduction Act is a giant leap forward in addressing the climate crisis and a big win for communities and the environment.
“Numerous provisions in the bill will lower costs, act on climate, and create millions of high-paying clean energy jobs. At the same time, we acknowledge that there are harmful provisions that are detrimental to indigenous communities and communities of color, such as additional leasing for oil and gas. NCLCV will do everything in our power to keep fighting for these communities, and against more drilling, leasing, pipelines, and other detrimental measures.”
The Biden-Harris Administration projects that the climate action investments included in the IRA will produce positive results including these by 2030 in the United States:
- 950 million operating solar panels;
- 120,000 operating wind turbines;
- 2,300 operating grid-scale battery plants to store clean energy;
- up to $14,000 per family in rebates for efficient appliances and home upgrades, saving families an average of $350/year on energy costs;
- 30% tax credit to install home solar panels, saving families an average of $300/year on electricity; and
- tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles (new and used), saving families an average of $950/year when they make the switch to electric.