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Inflation Reduction Act Contains Strong Climate and Environmental Justice Investments, Concerning Giveaways to Fossil Fuel Interests

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Democratic leaders in the Senate released details of an agreement to make transformative investments in our nation’s fight against climate change, environmental injustice, and energy transformation.

 Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen made the following statement:

“We need to do everything we can to get ambitious climate legislation over the finish line. We are past the deadline for taking action to address the climate crisis—the greatest threat our communities, our country, and our world have ever faced. The Inflation Reduction Act injects $369 billion into programs to support renewable energy production and innovation and creates the clean energy economy that can power this country into the future, while finally spending real money to clean up deadly fossil fuels pollution. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we urge the Senate to seize it.

“At the same time, we have to recognize the many provisions in this bill that hold back progress. Tax credits that extend the life of dirty coal plants will make it harder to reach critical targets for clean power, and we are outraged that this deal would undermine historic investments in clean energy by holding wind and solar projects hostage to massive new oil and gas leasing off our coasts and on our public lands. We can’t afford to double down on fossil fuels at this late stage of the climate crisis. Climate justice for communities that bear the burden of fossil extraction – including in the Gulf of Mexico, Appalachia, and Alaska – requires deep investment in new, sustainable jobs, not new federal oil leasing.

“This package, which promotes critical minerals mining, also underscores the urgent need to reform our 150-year-old mining laws and build a domestic recycling industry.

“Finally, we understand that this deal is premised on forthcoming legislation that could weaken core protections under the National Environmental Policy Act. More than ever, we need to address the environmental consequences of huge infrastructure projects and ensure that impacted people have a voice in the future we are building together. At Earthjustice, we stand ready to fight any efforts to erode our bedrock environmental protections in the name of climate action.

“We urge Leader Schumer to act swiftly and get essential climate legislation passed.”