Fresh Energy Statement: Congress poised to make historic investment in clean energy and climate

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Late yesterday, Senate leadership announced a deal on a budget reconciliation package that if passed would constitute by the far the largest investment in climate action in U.S. history. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a $369 billion climate and tax package, would impact all facets of our energy and transportation systems, driving down emissions by 40% by 2030, most of the way to the president’s pledge to the world that the U.S. would cut its emissions more than half this decade.

“This deal is historic and now we need Congress to do their jobs and get it to President Biden’s desk,” said executive director of Fresh Energy, Michael Noble. “In my three decades of work on clean energy and climate, I’ve never seen action with this much potential and Minnesota can be proud that the persistence and commitment of our Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar played a crucial role in getting this bill where it is today.”

“The energy transition requires all hands on deck and both American manufacturers and consumers have a crucial role to play in decarbonizing our economy,” said Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, senior lead of innovation and impact at Fresh Energy. “This deal would give consumers, business leaders, and beyond the tools and incentives they need to lead by electrifying where they live, work, and how they get around.”

“In Minnesota and across the country, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, as well as under-resourced communities, are disproportionately impacted by pollution and under-investment,” said Anjali Bains, lead director of energy access and equity at Fresh Energy. “These communities also hold the solutions on advancing environmental and climate justice, and we commend lawmakers for listening to environmental justice leaders and including major investments in this federal deal for these communities who have too long been left behind.”

“As written, this bill would leverage tax incentives to push renewables, geothermal, battery storage, and the clean energy sector as a whole to the next level,” said Allen Gleckner, executive lead of policy and programs at Fresh Energy. “This is exactly the kind of investment we need to continue modernizing energy generation and transmission and build the grid of the future here in Minnesota and across the country.”

The investments in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 are economy-wide. You can read a summary of the bill here and the full bill language here. Key elements of the bill include:

  • Lowering transportation and building energy costs across the U.S. with new incentives, rebates, and programs.
  • Increasing energy security and independence by amping up American clean energy manufacturing.
  • Increased federal support for innovative climate solutions to decarbonize the economy, including reducing emissions from electricity generation, transportation, manufacturing, buildings, and agriculture.
  • Targeted investments for under-resourced communities and environmental justice to ensure no one is left behind in the clean energy transition.
  • Support for rural communities becoming an integral part of the climate solution.

Senate leaders hope to pass the agreement as soon as next week, and President Biden has already spoken out in support of the bill. Fresh Energy encourages Senator Tina Smith, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and all Senators who collaborated to advance the Inflation Reduction Act to hold firm—Minnesotans and all Americans are depending on it.

Stay tuned in the coming week for a deeper dive from Fresh Energy staff into the bill.