ICYMI: State Reps. Austin Davis, Emily Kinkead and PA Conservation Voters Highlight How the Inflation Reduction Act Benefits Families, Complements State Investments

Today Biden signed the $370 billion investment in climate into law, delivering new jobs, good wages, and cleaner neighborhoods to Pennsylvanians

PITTSBURGH, Penn. – This morning, State Representatives Austin Davis and Emily Kinkead joined Katie Blume, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania political director, to highlight the benefits of the historic clean energy and climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act and the recently-passed state budget. The leaders mapped out how the $370 billion federal and $800 million state climate and conservation investments, respectively, will build jobs, increase wages, and create a safer and healthier environment for families across the state. This came just hours before President Biden signed the bill into law. 

These major investments highlight how the politics of climate have changed. Recent polling found the majority of voters support the historic clean energy and climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act. Pennsylvanians from both sides of the aisle have been calling for this type of bold investments and they support Congressional and state action to combat the climate crisis and expand clean energy jobs. 

Pennsylvania is already a leader in clean energy jobs, with over 8,600 people employed in solar and wind electric generation at the end of 2021. This sector is growing rapidly – from 2020 to 2021, clean energy employment in Pennsylvania grew by 6.3%. A report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 28,883 jobs in Pennsylvania per year over a five year period. 

Here are some highlights from the event: 

State Representative Austin Davis discussed how the Inflation Reduction Act will benefit working people and families across Pennsylvania by cutting energy costs, creating good-paying jobs, and helping people save for the very future that this climate legislation is working to protect. 

  • “The Inflation Reduction Act is a major step forward for families nationwide and here in Pennsylvania we stand to benefit immensely. This unprecedented clean energy, jobs, and climate investment is just what our communities need. This legislation can save the average household $1,800 per year on energy bills at a time when relief is much needed. In addition to cutting costs for working families, transitioning to cleaner energy will create good-paying union jobs and reduce our  pollution footprint.”
  • “Pennsylvania has always been a leader in providing energy to our communities and the country. We have the workforce and the skills to power us into the energy economy of the future. These historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act complement the climate investments in our state budget, putting us on a path to dramatically reduce the emissions that drive climate change.”
  • “These state and federal actions are the type of bold change we need to meet this moment, enabling us to tackle climate change head on while turbocharging our economy. This is a critical step towards environmental justice and reinvigorating communities that have been left behind for too long. While I am grateful that Congress did its part in passing this legislation, I know that there is more work to do. I am eager to continue in this fight, advocating for our community and ensuring we get the support we need to secure Pittsburgh’s future.

State Representative Emily Kinkead highlighted the importance of state action working in tandem with recent federal action, emphasizing how the Inflation Reduction Act will work with Pennsylvania state investments to create jobs, address the worst of the climate crisis, and rescue families from the corporate greed making basic necessities unaffordable.

  • “Congress took the first big step, but as you heard Katie say, it’s only going to cover 80%. Now that’s a massive investment – 80% to get us to the goal. But that’s now on states to get us the rest of the way, and that’s Pennsylvania’s job to do the work together to implement this bill quickly and efficiently and make sure that we are creating a place that we can be proud to leave to our future, and are able to leave to our future generations.”
  • “The Inflation Reduction Act has gotten a lot of coverage in what it’s going to do immediately to help families deal with unprecedented corporate greed, but what it has the potential to do in terms of the investment in the climate is really unfathomable in prior years. One report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 28,000 jobs in Pennsylvania per year over a five-year period. The hypothetical investments in that report were even smaller than those that actually exist in the Inflation Reduction Act.”
  • “The Inflation Reduction Act is the largest climate investment bill in the history of America. Thanks to Congress, millions across America are about to receive much-needed federal support to help protect families from extreme weather and create good jobs in the midst of the ongoing climate crisis.” 
  • “Without intervention, climate change is projected to cost Pennsylvania over $18 billion annually by the year 2100, which feels like a long way off but we’re not that far.”

Katie Blume, Political Director at the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, focused on the good-paying union jobs that the Inflation Reduction Act will create across Pennsylvania, bringing people the stability and resources necessary to provide for themselves. 

  • “We are here today to celebrate two massive victories for environmental protection that are going to help create jobs and protect the air we breathe and the water we drink right here in Pennsylvania. Last week, after more than a year of debate, Congress passed the historic Inflation Reduction Act. This legislation invests in $370 billion in fighting climate change and this is the largest amount that we have ever dedicated to addressing this existential threat.”
  • “This is not just a win for the planet, this is a win for families across Pennsylvania. As we build a 21st century economy powered by clean energy, it will also be reducing our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. […] We will be creating thousands of union jobs here in PA to upgrade our electrical grid, building new wind turbines, and solar panels thanks to $60 billion that the federal government will be investing in clean energy technologies. In a place like Pittsburgh, that means jobs manufacturing and designing new American-made batteries to power electric vehicles.” 
  • “The Department of Environmental Protection will  also have the resources to hold polluters and large companies accountable.”