One Step At A Time

By Carter Cormier

The new $369 billion climate bill, The Inflation Reduction Act, is “the biggest step forward on climate ever — ever,” remarked President Biden after signing the bill. Attempting to kickstart the United State’s efforts against the ever-growing adversary of climate change, Biden noted that the investments offer revolutionary clean energy production and pollution reduction. 

Aiming to halve carbon-emission levels reported in 2005 by 2030; The President proclaimed that this bill shall “allow us to boldly take additional steps towards meeting my [national] climate goals.” 

The bill addresses a plethora of environmental problems and solutions within the US. For simplicity, it’s outlined into 5 summarized sections below:

Reductions in energy bills paired with electric car tax write-offs.

Investments in the manufacturing of electric vehicles and other clean energy technologies. 

Incentives to transition into clean energy –specifically in struggling communities. Placing cleaner appliances and technologies into areas that aren’t able to afford the items otherwise. 

Introducing a collection of grants consisting of community led environmental projects, pollution reductions at ports, and large vehicles’ transitions to electricity (school buses, trucks, etc.). 

Emphasizing climate awareness in agriculture, tax credits to biofuels, and grants to restore/conserve coastal habitats/communities.

Additionally, the legislation tackles drug prices and grants Medicare the ability to negotiate their prices. Enabling Medicare to negotiate 10 retail drugs by 2026, as well as 20 retail drugs by 2029, and 20 doctor-prescribed drugs by 2029. (USA Today, Alltucker). The other, and arguably more impactful portion of the medicare-related provision, is the $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on prescriptions. This affects all of America, many paying skyrocketing prices due to no former regulation. 

Provided below is a graphs showing the projected impacts of this bill. 

The Inflation Reduction Act 'could be the most impactful climate legislation  of our lifetimes': SunRun CEO

As pictured above, the Biden administration aims to reduce emissions by 50% through 2030. In contempt of this bill, the target races farther away than America expects to achieve. 

Unfortunately, believes that mere climate change prevention is insufficient. The bill fails to protect against the active effects of climate change, including global warming induced flash floods and increased hurricanes. 

Unsurprisingly,the Senate passed this legislation with a narrow 50-51 vote on this historical piece of legislation–with all Democrats voting Yes– all Republicans voting No–and Vice president Kamala Haris being the deciding vote in the affirmative. 

The bill, officially labeled the Inflation Reduction Act, funds the massive $369 billion dollar investment through increased taxes on established corporations. Specifically, it creates a 15% minimum tax on companies that make at least $1 billion annually. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the IRA bill will reduce government deficits by $102 billion in the next 10 years. Moreover, the JCO (Joint Committee on Taxation) estimates a $313 billion in revenue in the next decade. As an country overall, we are moving in the correct direction by making clear advances in cleaner energy and supporting a country-wide shift into environmental awareness.