Historic Climate Action: The Inflation Reduction Act & Other Federal Legislation 

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From record temperatures, widespread drought and devastating wildfires, to winter storms, hurricanes and flooding – the climate crisis is here, and climate action can’t wait. The federal government has passed the most significant climate law in history and taken decisive action to advance clean energy, curb harmful pollution, and protect our air and water.

NEW! Passing The Most Significant Climate Law In U.S. History.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act will tackle climate change by investing nearly $369 billion in clean energy while also holding oil and gas companies accountable for polluting our communities. These investments will create 1.5 million new jobs and reduce the deficit by around $300 billion over a decade.
  • This law will jumpstart clean energy production all across America — reducing toxic carbon pollution by 40%. By reducing pollution, we begin to stop the irreversible damage of climate change.
  • This law directly helps disadvantaged communities that have been on the front lines of environmental health hazards for decades, with a historic $60 billion going to environmental justice priorities. 
  • Families will save money to power their homes and cars with emission-free energy like solar and wind, cutting energy costs by more than $1,000 for the average family through cheaper energy, tax credits, and energy efficiency. 
  • And economists agree that the bill directly reduces inflation, lowering costs for American families on everything from energy to healthcare. 
  • This law is not the end of the climate fight, but it is our last opportunity to have a fighting chance at stopping the worst effects of climate change.
Passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $4.7 billion to clean up and plug abandoned oil and gas wells, which can contaminate groundwater and emit noxious gasses and climate pollutants into the atmosphere.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $55 billion in funding to upgrade drinking water infrastructure, including $15 billion dedicated to replacing lead pipes.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes the largest investment ever to repair and construct critical infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, bridges, and buildings in a way that ensures they are ready to withstand the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme weather.
Rejoining The Paris Climate Agreement.
  • On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order to recommit the U.S. into the Paris Climate Agreement. The Agreement set a goal to limit warming below 2°C and strive to keep temperatures at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It also set a goal to reach net zero emissions by the second half of the century.
  • According to the 2022 IPCC report, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius “could reduce the number of people exposed to climate-related risks and susceptible to poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050.”
Cutting Methane Emissions.
  • The Administration launched a comprehensive U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan. The plan includes new safeguards across multiple agencies aimed at reducing methane emissions from new and existing oil and gas facilities and pipelines. 
  • One third of the warming from greenhouse gasses occurring today is due to human-caused emissions of methane. One ton of methane in the atmosphere has about 80 times the warming impact of a ton of CO2.
  • Methane poses acute and chronic hazards to human health. Methane is flammable and explosive within certain ranges and thus can present a safety hazard for individuals in areas with high methane concentrations including around oil and gas facilities.
Pushing For 40% of Electricity From Solar By 2035.
  • The Department of Energy published a report that laid out a path towards generating 40% of the nation’s electricity from solar panels by 2035, with that amount growing to 45% by 2050. 
  • Solar energy can help decarbonize the U.S. power grid and help achieve the goal of net zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2035.
  • Solar, which is already one of the cheapest and fastest-growing sources of clean energy, could produce enough electricity to power all of the homes in the U.S. by 2035, employing as many as 1.5 million people in the process.
Building Climate-Resilient Infrastructure.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included the largest investment ever to repair and construct critical infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, bridges, and buildings in a way that ensures they are ready to withstand the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme weather.
  • Between 2011 and 2021, the U.S. witnessed 163 billion-dollar extreme weather events that have caused $1 trillion in damages and 6,162 deaths.
  • 178 million trips are taken across structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. every day. 42% of all bridges in the U.S. are at least 50 years old. Nearly 231,000 bridges across all 50 states are in need of repair and preservation work, with some 21,000 susceptible to overtopping or having their foundations undermined during extreme storm events. 
  • The nation’s more than 300 ports serve as major economic drivers and sources of employment, with seaports contributing $5.4 trillion to the economy, or nearly 26% of the total GDP, and supporting 30.8 million jobs in 2018.
Making Buildings More Energy Efficient.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included several investments to help make buildings more energy-efficient, including a $3.5 billion investment in the weatherization assistance program, which helps low-income households save money on heating and cooling.
  • Home weatherization can reduce the energy burdens of low-income households by about 25%, and the Weatherization Assistance Program already saves participating households an average of $283 per year. A 2015 study found that the each dollar invested in the program produces more than $4 in benefits, and the DOE estimates that program participants see their energy costs cut by 35%, with each home gaining an average of $14,148 in total health- and household-related benefits.
Restoring And Protecting Lands From Wildfires.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides funding for the U.S. Forest Service to manage vegetation that can fuel wildfires on more than 4 million acres and to replant trees on 400,000 acres of previously burned land in the first year alone.
  • 2020 was the worst wildfire year on record, with 58,950 fires burning 10,122,336 acres across the U.S.
Building The First Major Offshore Wind Farm.
  • The start of construction on the Vineyard Wind project was approved, the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States. The project will create 3,600 jobs and provide enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses.
  • The Administration has pledged to build 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2030, which would spark $12 billion in capital investments annually, supporting 77,000 direct and indirect jobs by the end of the decade.
  • Meeting the administration’s offshore wind targets could avoid 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Cleaning Up Oil & Gas Wells.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $4.7 billion to clean up and plug abandoned oil and gas wells, which can contaminate groundwater and emit noxious gasses and climate pollutants into the atmosphere.
  • Oil and gas companies have abandoned 3.2 million oil and gas wells across America that are leaking over 600 million pounds of toxic pollutants into our air and water each year contaminating our drinking water and exacerbating climate change. 
  • A 2020 report found that plugging just 500,000 of the estimated 3 million abandoned wells in the U.S. could create upto 120,000 jobs. $2 billion in funding could remediate 57,000 wells and support up to 24,000 jobs in energy producing states, and reclaiming and remediating abandoned wells and mines could bring 30,000 jobs to the Appalachian region. 
Replacing Lead Drinking Water Pipes.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided $55 billion in funding to upgrade drinking water infrastructure, including $15 billion dedicated to replacing lead pipes.
  • There are still 6 to 10 million lead services lines in cities and towns across the country, many of which are in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.
  • According to the EPA, there is no safe level of lead in blood. Negative health effects of drinking water contaminated with lead can include behavioral issues, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, anemia, cardiovascular effects, decreased kidney function and reproductive problems. 
Upgrading The Electrical Grid.
  • The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $108 billion to invest in upgrading the nation’s electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable and to make it easier to deploy clean energy generating capacity.
  • The majority of the nation’s energy grid is aging. Some components are over a century old and others, including 70% of transportation and distribution lines, are over 25 years old.
  • The Department of Energy found that power outages are costing the U.S. economy $28 billion to $169 billion annually. Blackouts caused by Winter Storm Uri in 2021 cost over $195 billion in property damage alone.
  • An independent report identified 22 shovel ready transmission projects that are poised to move forward, potentially creating more than 600,000 new transmission-related jobs, and an additional 640,000 jobs from new clean energy generation projects enabled by the new transmission lines.
Protecting The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • The White House signed an executive order that would protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling. 
  • The Refuge is home to the indigenous Gwich’in, Iñupiat, and Inuvialuit people, and enjoys rich biodiversity as one of the nation’s few remaining untouched ecosystems.
Cutting Toxic Mercury Air Pollution.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency reinstated the legal underpinnings behind rules that limit mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants.
  • Exposure to mercury, which is polluted into the air from coal plants and settles in water bodies, later entering the food chain, can harm childrens’ brain development and cause heart disease in adults.
Accelerating Clean Energy Manufacturing With The Defense Production Act.
  • The Administration issued an executive order authorizing the Department of Energy to use the Defense Production Act to ramp up the manufacturing of clean energy technologies in the U.S., including solar panel parts, heat pumps, building insulation, equipment for making hydrogen, and power grid infrastructure such as transformers.
  • This order will help make the latest energy-saving technology more widely available and affordable, helping families save money on their household energy costs. Heat pumps can reduce electricity use for heating and cooling, saving consumers thousands of dollars in annual energy costs. The installation of heat pumps also increases home values by an average of $10,400 to $17,000.
Boosting Clean Energy Production With Solar Tariff Exemption.
  • The White House announced a 24-month tariff exemption on solar modules and cells from four Asian countries. The pause on tariffs provides a short-term boost to the solar components supply chain, ensuring the construction of existing projects while domestic manufacturing is shored up through the Defense Production Act. 
  • As of the end of the first quarter of 2022, 40,522 MW of wind, solar, and battery storage projects were under construction across 43 states.
  • A November 2020 BloombergNEF report found 19 GW of hybrid solar-plus-storage projects are in the pipeline and are expected to come online in the U.S. by 2023. An additional 80 GW of projects are in interconnection queues.
  • The U.S. is now on track to triple its solar manufacturing capacity by 2024, and expansions to domestic solar manufacturing capacity will grow current capacity by 15 GW for a total of 22.5 GW by the end of his first term. This is enough for more than 3.3 million homes to switch to clean solar energy every year.
Assisting Domestic Clean Energy Producers Through Federal Government Procurement.
  • The White House announced the development of supply agreements to make it easier for domestic clean electricity manufacturers to sell their products to the U.S. government. The government would apply “super preference” status to domestic suppliers of solar systems.
  • These procurement measures will stimulate demand for up to a gigawatt (GW) of domestically produced solar modules in the near term, and up to 10 GW over the next decade, from U.S. government demand alone.

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