Today marks a massive leap forward in protecting the places we live and lifestyles we love. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes our time’s largest, most impactful climate legislation.
The newly passed IRA is a major step forward in combating climate change. It invests $369 billion in clean energy, transportation, and green technology. This bill is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ten times more than any other single piece of legislation in history! We are now on track to reduce emissions by 40% (of 2005 levels) by 2030. Some of the benefits we’ll notice at home are credits to put solar on our roofs and buy American-built electric vehicles, including used ones. There is also a dedicated $60 billion for environmental justice priorities ensuring that communities grappling with pollution and health disparities have a clear line to grants and programs.
If you’ve been in the race with us for the last year, you know how many times it looked like Congress’ major effort to reduce emissions was on its way to a DNF. But we didn’t give up and neither did they.
Jeremy Jones, Protect Our Winters (POW) founder, perfectly describes this huge accomplishment “As you know, really big bucket list objectives take time and effort. And much like in the mountains, what starts with a vision requires a lot of work, overcoming obstacles along the way, and starting over as conditions change. And while progress can seem so frustratingly slow, once it happens, it tends to happen really fast.”
Here at the Sierra Nevada Alliance, we know this very intimately. We have seen the impacts of climate change in the mountains we love so passionately. We’re dedicated to protecting these places for generations to come so that they too can experience the fun, challenge, and magic it takes to explore these mountains.
IRA is also much more than ‘just’ a bill combating climate change and reducing carbon emissions. It will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drug prices, and extend the expanded Affordable Care Act program for three years, through 2025.
In numbers, IRA is set to:
- Make historic climate investments by reducing carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.
- Invest in disadvantaged communities by cleaning up pollution and taking steps to reduce environmental injustice with $60 billion for environmental justice.
- Lower energy bills by cutting energy bills by $500 to $1,000 per year.
- Create manufacturing jobs by creating millions of new domestic clean manufacturing jobs.
- Protect families and small businesses making $400,000 or less.
- Closes tax loopholes used by the wealthy by instating a 15% corporate minimum tax, a 1% fee on stock buybacks, and enhanced IRS enforcement.
- Expands Medicare benefits by supplying free vaccines in 2023, $35/month for insulin in 2023, and capping out-of-pocket drug costs to an estimated $4,000 or less in 2024 and settling at $2,000 in 2025.
- Lowers health care costs and saving the average enrollee $800/year in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, allowing Medicare to negotiate 100 drugs over the next decade, and requiring drug companies to rebate back price increases higher than inflation.
Image: gyn9038 from Getty Images Pro, Canva