ICYMI: Wisconsin Leaders Highlight How the Inflation Reduction Act Benefits Families, Complements State Investments

Inflation Reduction Act Complements State Climate Investments, Creating Clean Energy Jobs in Wisconsin, Saving People Money, and Cutting Emissions

Madison, Wisc. – This morning, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Mayor Cory Mason (Racine), State Sen. Chris Larson, State Rep. Greta Neubauer, and State Rep. Francesca Hong gathered to highlight the benefits of the historic clean energy and climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act for Wisconsinites. The leaders mapped out how the Inflation Reduction Act will save families money, create good paying union jobs, and clean up decades of pollution that is hurting Wisconsin’s most vulnerable communities. 

The Inflation Reduction Act invests $370 billion to fight climate change and create good-paying union jobs by turbocharging Wisconsin’s already robust clean energy industry. Wisconsin is already a leader in clean energy jobs and the investments in this law will spur job growth in this sector, investing roughly $4 billion in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Wisconsin by 2030. These investments will be bolstered by incentives for strong labor conditions, ensuring good-paying jobs for the Wisconsin workers building the economy of the future. 

A recent Marquette Law School poll found that 69% of Wisconsin voters are concerned, with 41% very concerned, about climate change. Among Democratic voters, climate change is the number one issue, underscoring just how much the politics of climate have changed and how support for climate action could shape key elections in Wisconsin this November.

Here are some highlights from the event: 

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski highlighted how the Inflation Reduction Act will boost savings for individuals and families, cutting energy costs and funding clean energy projects and making sustainable energy sources more accessible across the state even as Republicans continue to resist progress. 

  • “As the state chief financial officer, I’m excited to be here to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act. Why? Because this legislation will allow for major investments in climate and clean energy that will save – yes I said it – it’s gonna save Wisconsinites money while creating good paying jobs right here at home. That’s what I call in finance a win-win for Wisconsin.” 
  • “Here’s the deal though. For far too long we’ve been paying the price for the Republicans’ inaction. In fact, climate change is estimated to cost our state over five billion dollars a year by the year 2100. So, thanks to Big Oil companies and Republicans like Senator Ron Johnson, and every Republican member of the House who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, these lawmakers are putting oil executives and their profits above the relief of hard-working Wisconsinites.”
  • “So the Inflation Reduction Act is finally breaking the status quo of inaction, and I will just share. […] As a mom of a two year old, I think about how this historic legislation is not only going to be making a difference today and tomorrow, but for the next generation. And as the state that founded Earth Day, I am so excited for this next chapter because I know that Wisconsin will continue to lead on this transition toward a cleaner, financially more just future for everybody.”

Mayor Cory Mason (Racine) discussed how the Inflation Reduction Act works on a local level, making investments in community resilience, saving families on energy costs, and addressing environmental injustices by ensuring every American benefits from this law, not just the ones who can afford to invest in clean energy. 

  • “What is so encouraging to me about the Inflation Reduction Act is finally we have an enormous partner in the federal government that is willing to invest in local communities, like the city of Racine, to try to address the impacts of climate change. So Sarah’s comments earlier about these rebates meaning that anybody–whether they’re a business, or a homeowner, or a government–can see a 30% rebate for the renewables that they want to put into a building, that’s the difference many times in the ability to do the renewable project or now. So having that investment makes a huge difference.”
  • “The other thing that this bill does that I want to give some voice to is its commitment to environmental justice, and really creating grant funding for the communities that have been most devastated by the impacts of climate change. Investing grants in ways to make sure that the ability to enjoy the benefits of this bill isn’t limited to the folks who can afford to put solar panels on their roof, it’s really meant to extend to everybody. So all in all, this is a huge investment in our planet, in our future, in our children. It’s an acknowledgement that the impact of climate change has had in diverse communities like ours, and it is arguably the biggest investment around saving the planet that the federal government has ever made.” 
  • “As importantly, when my kids ask me ‘what are you doing to stop climate change from impacting our generation,’ I’ve got the best answer I’ve ever been able to give them with the leadership that the Senate has provided and Joe Biden’s leadership around the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” 

State Sen. Chris Larson talked about the significant benefits that the Inflation Reduction Act will bring to small businesses in Wisconsin, to workers in the state looking for good paying jobs, and for the clean energy future that Wisconsin is already building. 

  • “The Inflation Reduction Act is extremely exciting, and it’s gonna be a game changer for my neighbors and the folks living in my district. It really changes the mindset from ‘we should do this someday to address climate change’ to ‘we can and should start doing that today, as soon as the money starts rolling out from this bill.’”
  • “I spent my career in the Senate now 12 years fighting for small business, worker rights, and solutions for the climate crisis. This bill does all three in a big way. Because of this law, more people in small businesses in my district can benefit from our clean energy economy. The tax credit for home efficiency upgrades, rooftop solar, battery storage, and more will save them upwards of $1000 a year on energy bills, which is a huge game changer.”
  • “The savings for families is huge, the job opportunities are gonna be even bigger. The Department of Energy 2022 Energy and Employment Report found that 5,825 Wisconsin workers are currently employed in solar, wind, electric generation in Wisconsin in the last year. That number is only expected to grow significantly with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. This will also help get resources to Milwaukee area communities that have been suffering from environmental injustice by updating the infrastructure that is otherwise being left outdated and that is posing a danger to our most vulnerable, our kids.”
  • “I was talking to a friend of mine who works in solar installation and does heat pumps, and he was saying with the infusion of this, this is going to keep him busy, it’s going to allow his business to grow, and it’s going to allow for a lot of people who were just tiptoeing around the edge of installing solar panels to getting a heat pump to actually dive in and get it, so that’s a difference that has already started with his phone ringing off the hook. So it’s a win for him, it’s a win for his workers, it’s a win for all the neighbors who are going to do that, and of course for the entire state and the country. My kids are going to be better off because of this law, and I’m excited to continue the work to deliver a clean energy future for them.” 

State Rep. Francesca Hong focused on the benefits that the Inflation Reduction Act will bring to every Wisconsinite, and stressed that climate change is a defining issue in Wisconsin’s upcoming midterms. She highlighted that the Inflation Reduction Act is a block upon which state legislatures can build meaningful local climate action.

  • “The issue of our time is indeed the climate crisis, and here in Wisconsin the investments made by the Inflation Reduction Act are a critical first step in combating the effects of a warming planet. And for the communities of the 76th district in Madison that I proudly represent, environmental issues have been front and center. From concerns over groundwater contamination and flood mitigation, to tree equity and – as a restaurant owner, this one is really important to me – food waste reduction, there has been a deep need for action on local, state, and national levels. And so the Inflation Reduction Act will start to address many of these concerns.”
  • “The Inflation Reduction Act ensures that we build a clean energy economy from the bottom up and the middle out. It works at a foundational level to create economic opportunity for the low income communities, and Black and Brown communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act commits to environmental justice, and that’s why I believe it will be the historic benefit for the people of the 76th and Wisconsin communities everywhere.”
  • “We also know that it is very much in line with the values and priorities of the people in this state. A recent UW La Follette School of [Public Affairs] poll polled residents and found that climate change is a top concern heading into 2022 midterms. 87% of respondents said climate change was a problem, and 39% called it an extremely big problem. It is a crisis. And that’s why in this upcoming legislative session, I hope that my colleagues and I in the legislature can build on the blueprint of the Inflation Reduction Act to deliver the aggressive and effective statewide policy that we need to combat the climate crisis.”

State Rep. Greta Neubauer called attention to the strides the Inflation Reduction Act will make toward cutting corporate greed and profiteering out of families’ energy costs. She pointed out that, though Republicans on the state and national level have repeatedly resisted climate action, the benefits the Inflation Reduction Act will bring to Wisconsinites should motivate them to participate or they’ll be left behind along with yesterday’s energy sources.

  • “Our country has made the largest investment in climate action ever [in our history]. The movement for climate action has a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to. This law is of course the most consequential climate law we’ve ever seen, but it is also much more. It is a job creator, it is an energy cost saver, domestic manufacturing booster, and corporate profiteering buster.” 
  • “The Inflation Reduction Act will take on the corporate greed that is directly responsible for raising energy and gas prices for Wisconsinites, and protect families from ongoing price gouging by CEOs who are eager to line their own pockets at the expense of our neighbors. This is critical work.”
  • “We’ve been hearing from different folks on this call about how they see the benefits in their community. As someone who ran for office about four and a half years ago on a platform of addressing climate change due to my work in the youth climate movement, I was surprised, frankly, brought up jobs and brought that up in connection with the transition to clean energy. Racine is a community that has lost a lot of good union jobs over the last several decades, and the best opportunity that we have to get those jobs back in our community is investing in our transition to clean energy.” 
  • “We of course need to continue to make strides in Wisconsin. […] In the legislature, we’ve had a bit of a hard time getting our Republican colleagues on board and passing the bills that we’ve proposed year after year. In the last cycle, we worked together to propose a forward on climate bill package that would create good family supporting jobs and address inequities. This package really is about transitioning our economy and providing Wisconsinites an opportunity to thrive. Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues didn’t give those bills a hearing, but I hope that when we see all of the impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act on Wisconsin, we will see our Republican colleagues recognizing that this transition is happening and Wisconsin should get on board.”