Today’s action by the US House of Representatives clears the way for President Biden to sign the most consequential federal climate policy in our nation’s history into law: the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
I bet many of you shared my doubts we’d ever get here. For far too long, the oil industry and other fossil fuel interests have used their dinosaur-sized influence to deny and delay meaningful progress on federal climate action.
Now, through our perseverance—the dogged, good work of many people across the country—we have led our elected officials to take action for the public and the planet.
Join us for a special Climate Leaders Live webinar next Thursday 8/18 at noon Pacific to learn more about the Inflation Reduction Act: Register now
The IRA will slash climate pollution and dramatically accelerate our shift to a clean energy economy. The clean energy investments in this bill are an enormous step forward—game changing. And it happened because we broke through a fog of political pollution and seemingly insurmountable, dino-sized roadblocks. This congressional action comes not a day too soon. When we look out our windows we see hot, withered landscapes. Others see the aftermath of flooding, or wildfire scars, or their own neighborhood choked too long by pollution. Some have lost the places they live. Many are just looking to survive.
But we also need to acknowledge that the IRA also includes giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, leading to continued and new harms to communities on the front lines of environmental degradation—particularly in the Arctic and Gulf Coast.
Those private deals will directly impact Black, Indigenous and communities of color, and there are critical steps we must take quickly to address those impacts. We need to ensure that environmental justice is a primary concern with every step and decision, and that the solutions are led by the experience, knowledge, and expertise from those communities. We must do more, starting not tomorrow, but today.
This congressional action comes not a day too soon. When we look out our windows we see hot, withered landscapes. Others see the aftermath of flooding, or wildfire scars, or their own neighborhood choked too long by pollution. Some have lost the places they live. Many are just looking to survive.
We already knew following recent precedent-setting decisions from the Supreme Court, there is more to do outside of D.C. We now have the opportunity to turn the promise of policies and investments into real progress on the ground—cutting more climate pollution, creating more good paying jobs, and investing in solutions in the hardest hit and historically disadvantaged communities that bear the brunt of environmental injustice. The real harms caused by climate change are coming faster and harder, and our climate action must not fail to keep up.
Now, we have more momentum. Open a window–pigs have taken flight! Let’s keep adding to it—and remember that things that seem impossible truly can happen with enough tenacity. It’s about time.
For a more detailed dive on what the bill means and what is needed moving forward, see my recent writing in Post Alley: Finally, A Foundation for Climate Progress.
Hope to “see” you on August 18th at 12 pm PT for our Climate Leaders Live webinar where we'll talk about what the IRA means for real climate progress.