Big, Bold Climate Action in the Inflation Reduction Act

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Inflation Reduction Act
Image created by Julie Frontera

Last year researchers in the U.K., U.S., and Finland surveyed 10,000 young people, aged 16-25, from 10 countries around the world to learn how they felt about climate anxiety. The results will either be no surprise or a complete surprise, depending on how many Gen Zers you personally know. More than half of respondents — 59% — are very or extremely worried about climate change. 

“Distress about climate change is associated with young people perceiving that they have no future, that humanity is doomed, that governments are failing to respond adequately, and with feelings of betrayal and abandonment by governments and adults,” the study’s authors wrote.

Doomed. Betrayal. Abandonment. No future.

Whatever happened to that American dream that each generation has a better life and more opportunities than the one before it?

But under the Biden-Harris administration, after decades of inaction, the U.S. government is finally taking concrete steps to fight climate change. As President Joe Biden said at the signing ceremony of the Inflation Reduction Act, “This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever. Ever.”

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. government will spend $369 billion to combat the climate crisis. Corporations and manufacturers will be incentivized through financing to install clean energy sources and tax credits for going zero-carbon, using electric vehicles, and building clean energy facilities. The U.S. government will also crack down on methane pollution, which is a key element of the greenhouse effect. Industry polluters will be fined and, crucially, these penalties will be enforced. 

The climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act will impact individuals throughout the nation as well. The bill provides: 

  • funding for households to install energy-efficient appliances and clean energy sources like heat pumps and solar panels
  • tax credits to people who purchase electric vehicles, including used cars
  • investments in forest and coastal restoration, fire-resilient forests, and urban tree restoration
  • investments in low-income communities and communities of color for clean energy technology and vehicles and reducing pollution near highways, ports, and industrial facilities 

These incentives are designed to push American consumers and industry away from fossil fuels. 

Under the Biden-Harris administration, the U.S. has finally committed to building a better environment and climate future for generations of Americans. “Now I can look my kids in the eye and say we’re really doing something about climate,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said after the Senate approved the bill, wiping away tears.

For the nitty gritty numbers, see this communication from the White House.

Check out the rest of the articles in our Biden-Harris series: 

The Awesome Accomplishments of the Biden-Harris Administration
Gen Z and Gun Violence: Your Vote Can Save Lives
Biden Continues the Job Growth Trends of Past Democratic Presidents
The Lifesaving Healthcare Provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act
The American Rescue Plan Is Even Better Than You Think
Republicans Have Brought Us to a Fascist Flashpoint
The PACT Act Proves Democrats Care About Our Veterans
The CHIPS and Science Act: A Boon for US Manufacturing and Technology
Eighteen Months in … and I’m Still Ridin’ With Biden

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Rena Korb is a professional writer and editor. Her publications span from children’s books to political commentary. She volunteers as a DemCast California captain and as a leader with her local Indivisible chapter. She also is a lifelong activist, attending her first protest when she was 16. She lives in San Mateo with her family and, in non-pandemic times, enjoys playing Ultimate frisbee.

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