Inflation Reduction Act is largest climate bill ever but concerns over fossil fuel investment remain
Groups that advocate for the development of green energy in New York are expressing some mixed feelings about the climate provisions included in the Inflation Reduction Act passed by the U.S. Senate. The bill authorizes about $370 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below their 2005 levels by the end of this decade.
“There’s going to be a 10-year extension of tax incentives for renewable energy projects. That’s wind, solar, and geothermal. There’s a lot of funding for transitioning homes to all-electric heating and cooling sources like pumps. There [are] incentives for people to buy electric vehicles and start decarbonizing our transportation system.”
Tim Judson, a board member of the Alliance for a Green Economy, is questioning the bill's true impact, which will be offset by investments in fossil fuels included in the bill.
“By making a tremendous amount of low-cost, low-risk financing available to fossil fuel and nuclear projects, is that going to essentially block us from building as much renewables as we would otherwise?” Judson said.
Judson says the bill is the result of the divided political state of the country.
“We have one whole party that wouldn’t make any of these investments at all, in the Republican party. And we have one or two Democrats in the Senate who are significantly more conservative on climate and energy issues than the rest of the party. That has given essentially corporate lobbyists and industries a tremendous opportunity to work out the deal that’s best for them. That seems like what we’ve got at this point,” Judson said.
Even so, he said all of the investments to address the climate crisis will help New York meet its more ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction goals.