This Page is a work in progress. As this is formatted the US Senate will be voting on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)compromise by Schumer and Manchin and it contains many worthwhile climate mitigation policies along with some bad plans for drilling and leasing. Activist groups are advocating nevertheless regardless of whether this is passed that Biden declare a Climate Emergency. Below are the good, bad and ugly points of the IRA:
GOOD: The IRA will make important public investments in renewable energy, decarbonized transportation, domestic manufacturing, and public lands management along with some important labor provisions and funding for environmental justice priorities. BAD: Key provisions from Build Back Better have been dropped, many of which were insufficient to start with. The IRA offers virtually nothing for non-car transportation or for securing safe, comfortable, affordable housing for low and middle income tenants and homeowners, and environmental justice funding falls far below the Administration’s Justice40 commitments. UGLY: The IRA extends the era of fossil fuels. The bill mandates that vast swathes of public lands be sacrificed for the ongoing development of fossil fuels, and expands subsidies for dangerous distractions, including hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Sequestration. A corresponding side deal with Manchin would also weaken the environmental review process for new fossil fuel developments. Here are several links from the recent August 2 climate emergency action in Albany NY:
Climate groups rallied in Albany on Tuesday to urge President Biden to declare a climate emergency, halt new fossil fuels and issue a series of executive orders on climate (see climatepresident.org).
President Biden, by declaring a climate emergency, can unleash significant powers he can take via executive action without the need for Congressional approval. While Congressional action to providing funding to renewables is welcomed, we need all levels of government to support a halt to new fossil fuels and a rapid phaseout to existing uses,” said Mark Dunlea of PAUSE (People of Albany United for Safe Energy) the 350 affiliate in the Capital District. More than 350 groups issued a letter to Senator Schumer Friday, calling for a rejection of fossil fuel expansion in his proposed deal with Manchin. President Biden should unlock the powers of the federal government by taking steps like using military funds to support clean energy projects." Sponsors of the Albany event included PAUSE (People of Albany United for Safe Energy); Capital District Citizen Action; Food and Water Watch; GELF (Green Education and Legal Fund); Mothers Out Front; Rivers & Mountains GreenFaith Circle; Upper Hudson Green Party; People's Climate Movement-Capital Region; Capital District Solidarity; Women Against War; and, Albany County League of Women Voters. The groups said that every action should come with strong labor standards to protect workers’ rights and be developed through meaningful consultation with workers, frontline communities, and other affected constituencies.
Direct the Secretary of Defense to redirect a portion of military spending to carry out a rapid construction program of renewable energy projects to meet a significant portion of the nation’s power needs; and
Invoke the Defense Production Act to provide critical loan guarantees and ensure a comprehensive buildout of just, renewable energy development that creates millions of good union jobs.
President Biden - as well as Governor Hochul and the New York State legislature - must be reminded that it is their moral obligation to act now to mitigate the impacts of climate disruption.