“‘The transformational legislation provides breakthrough investments and tax credits that will save households money, create millions of jobs and boost energy security – all while helping put the U.S. within striking distance of its 2030 climate goals.’”
That’s an optimistic Ani Dasgupta, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, commenting Sunday after U.S. Senate Democrats resurrected an all-but-dead spending bill that included major climate-change action. Now, that bill, relabeled the Inflation Reduction Act from earlier incarnations as Build Back Better, moves to the House for a Friday vote, where Democrats hold a small majority.
No Senate Republicans voted “yes” for the initiative that also included healthcare provisions and other spending, as GOP senators argued the measure wouldn’t address soaring inflation as advertised, but would sock Americans with higher taxes. The energy and climate-focused incentives are peppered with rebates and tax credits that will directly impact households, from heat pumps, to appliance efficiency, to solar panels and electric vehicles
Read more: Here’s how the Inflation Reduction Act’s rebates and tax credits for heat pumps and solar can lower your energy bill And: Thinking about an EV? First-ever $4,000 tax credit for used electric vehicles, and $7,500 for new, nears approval Comments have poured in Sunday from environmental groups, renewable-energy giants, advocacy organizations for lowering energy bills and scores of others who generally embraced congressional progress. Other groups are sticking to their concerns that without a deep basket of energy offerings, including U.S.-drilled oil
and natural gas
the nation remains vulnerable to power moves by Russia, China and the Middle East. Some environmental groups said there remained too many concessions in the hard-fought legislation, which just a few weeks ago appeared dead in the water before a major compromise was struck with energy-state Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. It’s true that the rewritten spending bill allows for a major fossil-fuel
pipeline. But WRI’s Dasgupta owns perhaps the earliest remarks that swelled with big-picture optimism. He is willing to suggest that the U.S., with these efforts, resumes the course that matches so many of its economic rivals: to halve emissions as soon as 2030. A Joe Biden-led pledge, which is nonbinding, has said the U.S. can hit net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The European Union, China, Japan and South Korea have all announced ambitious near- and long-term climate targets. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide concentrations are now more abundant in the earth’s atmosphere than any time in the last 800,000 years. These greenhouse gas emissions have increased the greenhouse effect and caused the earth’s surface temperature to rise, the EPA explains. If simply measuring total emissions, China, the No. 2 economy, is the world’s No. 1 polluter. China generates around 30% of all global emissions, while the U.S., in second place, is responsib …