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Historic Climate Win in the Senate!

On Sunday, August 7th, the United States Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which contains nearly $370 billion in investments for climate solutions. The legislation will likely be passed in the House of Representatives this week and then on to President Biden's desk.

The legislation would cut U.S. emissions by 41% by 2030 and invest $369 billion in climate solutions.

According to an analysis by Earthjustice consumers would directly benefit by:

  • A 30% tax credit for installing residential solar panels.

  • Up to $7,500 for purchasing an electric vehicle.

  • Up to $14,000 for home energy efficiency upgrades, including up to $8,000 to install a heat pump.

Key provisions include:

-Building efficiency & electrification tax credits

-Clean manufacturing tax credits

-Greenhouse gas reduction fund

-Clean energy tax credits extended by 10 years

-$60 billion in solar panels, batteries & clean energy tech that will create new jobs

-$9 billion in home energy rebate programs

-$3 billion to the US Postal Service to have an electric fleet

-$1 billion for clean school buses & garbage trucks

-$ 3 billion for port clean up

-Tax credits for electric vehicles

-$550 million in energy assistance for energy and water bills

-More than $20 billion to help farms shift to sustainable ag

-Nearly $4 billion into nature based solutions

It’s not perfect. There is a tax credit for “carbon capture” that would make phasing out coal plants take longer, it would allow oil & gas leasing in part of the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, and creates “permitting reform” that could undercut some of the protections of NEPA.

That said, this is historic climate legislation. It’s time to celebrate this big moment for climate action.

Potential #OneGreenThings by Service Superpower:

  • Adventurers: Do you have an electric car or have access to green public transit? Think about how you might use the tax credits to take advantage of more environmentally-friendly transportation.

  • Beacons: Encourage your elected officials in the House of Representatives and at the state and local level to support the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act and let them know how much climate solutions are important to you.

  • Influencers: Share this blog with friends and family and make time to celebrate some good news.

  • Philanthropists: Reflect on the nonprofits in the climate or conservation space that have meant the most to you and let your community know that nonprofit advocacy makes a difference.

  • Sages: Talk to a young person you know and make sure that they know that even if the bill isn't perfect these historic investments are a game-changer to put us on the path to a 41% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030.

  • Sparks: Take a moment to celebrate this big win and reflect on the power of hope through action with friends.

  • Wonks: Dig into this "Statement of Administrative Policy" fact sheet from the White House about the Inflation Reduction Act and brainstorm how your community might be able to take advantage of these strategic, significant incentives for a clean energy economy.

This historical legislation will also mean that there will be many more opportunities for people to engage in a daily practice of sustainability as these climate solutions are adopted at scale. Onward! Our future loved ones are counting on us.

Heather White is the founder and CEO of OneGreenThing. She's also the author of One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet (Harper Horizon 2022).


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