🌱 The Coming Green Revolution
President Biden's massive Build Back Better bill has been resurrected from the dead — though slightly smaller, and with some creative rebranding. Now called the Inflation Reduction Act, the bill seems to have far-reaching implications on the US's attempt at combating climate change, mostly by pumping billions into renewable energy production methods and electric vehicle tax incentives. And rather than punish corporations for carbon emissions, it extends tax credits on green energy production and invests in carbon capture technologies.
Should the bill pass, it would reduce US emissions 40% by 2030, which is close to the 50% target the US announced in the Paris Agreement back in 2015.
Senator Joe Manchin held the bill up for months, with some believing it was dead. However, Manchin had an about-face on the bill in recent weeks.
“I think it is absolutely a transformative bill,” Leah Stokes, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told The New York Times. “It will put us on track for meeting President Biden’s goals. It will reduce every American’s energy bills.”
Fossil Fuel Leases
While many people see the bill as a major effort to counter the effects of climate change, some see the expansion of fossil fuel leases to federal lands and waters as a defeat. “Permitting new fossil fuel projects will further entrench us in a fossil fuel economy for decades to come — and constitutes a violent betrayal of your pledge to combat environmental racism and destruction,” a letter from the Center for Biological Diversity to the President and Congress said. “New fossil fuel projects will also lock workers into a dying industry and delay the growth in sectors that will support jobs of the future.”
To open the news is to read of multiple climate catastrophes playing out simultaneously across the country (and the globe), so this bill cannot come fast enough. Yet it’s clear the expansion of fossil fuel leases is leaving some underwhelmed.