Why Arizona Needs the Inflation Reduction Act Now

Critical climate and clean energy investments will create millions of good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for families, invest in disadvantaged communities and reduce climate pollution. Not only are Arizonans demanding climate action now, with 78% of registered voters supporting Congressional action on climate change, they are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Arizona will suffer more than most of the country under current climate change projections, demonstrating precisely why Congress must act now and pass the Inflation Reduction Act to secure Arizona’s future. Here’s why Arizona needs the climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act now: 

Voters in Arizona want solutions to the climate crisis.

  • 60% of voters in Arizona support the Inflation Reduction Act
    • 72% of Arizona voters in the same poll said they support the provisions to lower energy bills through tax credits for clean and energy efficient technologies.
    • 66% of Arizona voters in the same poll support the ramping up of production of American-made clean energy technologies
  • 81% of registered voters in Arizona support investments in clean energy jobs and 78% support Congressional climate action. 
  • 85% of Arizona’s residents want government action to protect rural water supplies, and the same percentage also favor increased spending to prevent forest fires on state lands.
  • 75% of voters in Arizona support tax incentives to make clean energy sources like wind and solar widely available at lower costs, and 70% of voters support rewarding electric utilities that generate more electricity every year from clean energy sources. 

Investing in clean energy means jobs for Arizona.

  • In 2021, Arizona was home to 59,383 clean energy jobs, including 11,497 jobs in generating renewable electricity, 2,280 jobs in energy storage, 41,271 jobs in energy efficiency, and 3,981 jobs in clean vehicles.
    • The Department of Energy’s 2022 Energy and Employment Report found that 10,544 Arizona workers were employed in solar and wind electric generation in 2021. 
  • One report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 16,564 jobs in Arizona per year over a five year period. The hypothetical investments in that report were even smaller than those in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Arizonans are already feeling the impacts of climate change.

  • Arizona is currently facing an immense water crisis, as the state battles its 27th year of long-term drought. Widespread drought in Arizona is expected to more than triple by 2050, underscoring the need for investments in better water management and climate resilience. 
  • Arizona saw its second hottest and driest year on record in 2020, leading to a record 323 heat-related deaths in Maricopa County. June 2021 broke the record for the hottest June ever recorded in Phoenix, with temperatures reaching 118 degrees. 
  • Intense drought, combined with extreme temperatures, creates tinderbox-like conditions. In 2020, Arizona saw its worst fire season ever, with over 970,000 acres burned in 2,520 wildfires. 

If we do nothing, it will get worse for communities across the state and cost billions of dollars.

  • As the fourth-fastest warming state, Arizona is projected to see almost 80 days of extreme heat per year by 2050, with heat wave days more than tripling by 2050.
  • Climate change will cost Arizona over $17.4 billion annually by 2100. If emissions continue to rise unchecked, counties in Arizona could be among the worst hit by climate change, with losses of 10% to 20% of GDP.
  • Climate change is projected to cause a 37% loss in crop yields in Arizona, including a 69% loss in cotton production, with annual crop losses from drought of as much as 12% annually over the next 20 years. 

Climate change and fossil fuel pollution have a disproportionate impact on people of color in Arizona.

  • Fossil fuel extraction is poisoning Arizona’s air and water. Phoenix’s air is among the most polluted in the nation, and asthma rates in predominantly Latino and African-American South and West Phoenix zip codes are some of the highest in the country.
  • In June 2021, groundwater on Tucson’s south side was found to be so contaminated with PFAS “forever chemicals” that a Tucson Water treatment plant was shut down.
  • A recent report found that Phoenix’s Latino and low-income communities experience more extreme heat compared to white or wealthy communities. Phoenix is the second fastest-warming city in the nation, and the city’s design makes heat more dangerous, so much so that 155 Phoenix residents died of heat-related illnesses in 2017.