EnergyWatch

US IRA bill compromises leave sour taste with activists

Now signed by the US president and thus fully formalized, the watered-down version of Biden’s climate campaign bill – full of compromises to get conservative Democrats on aboard and thus attracting critique from many observers – nonetheless contains the nation’s most sweeping legislation supporting the green transition to date, thereby on account of sheer size reviving some hope of averting the worst outcome for global climate.

The sweeping Inflation Reduction Act just passed by Congress will not only slash planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Democrats say, it will steer record funding to programs supporting environmental justice — that is, addressing the legacy of disproportionate environmental harm in low-income and minority communities and ensuring they are treated fairly in the future. 

By Democrats’ accounting, there is $60 billion in the $374 billion IRA that will go toward steps like cleaning up air pollution at ports and cutting emissions from heavy vehicles such as school buses and garbage trucks, which stand to benefit such communities. 

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