PSR Statement on Inflation Reduction Act August 4, 2022

CONTACT: Isabella Javidanijavidan@psr.org, 612-812-3231

Physicians for Social Responsibility is excited to support congressional climate action through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The bill in its current iteration is a positive step forward, investing in climate justice, renewable energy, methane pollution reduction, and clean air protections, among other public health investments. The bill isn’t perfect. PSR remains concerned about provisions that prop up carbon capture technology, hydrogen, and nuclear energy and open federal lands and waters to fossil fuel extraction.

Jeff Carter, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, issued the following statement:

“Congressional inaction has stood in the way of climate progress for decades, making the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 a cause for celebration.  The proposed investments will ease climate change-induced health burdens on the American public. They will especially benefit low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, where the effects of climate change are disproportionately felt. For example, through climate justice block grants and low-income solar and wind investment tax credits, affected communities will see a reduction in pollution and climate threats while having increased access to renewable resources. 

“This bill is also pivotal to reaching President Biden’s proposed climate goals and keeping the U.S. in line with a +1.5 degrees Celsius world. The difference between a +1.5 and a +2-degree increase in world temperatures could be enough to trigger climate change tipping points and cause irreversible and destabilizing damage.

“Having said that, this bill is a compromise. It does not go far enough, and in fact, some provisions will undercut the positive investments that seek to create a safe and healthy climate powered by renewable energy. The carbon capture tax credit, hydrogen production tax credit, and expanded fossil fuel leasing will all prolong our dependence on dirty energy sources.

“This bill, additionally, will extend the lives of existing nuclear plants. Although nuclear plants are billed as zero-carbon energy sources, they are associated with other harmful environmental consequences that put public health in jeopardy. The energy transition should focus exclusively on deploying and accelerating the use of renewable energy resources.

“Despite these flaws, the cost of climate inaction is too steep. The positives in this bill outweigh the negatives and will play a pivotal role in protecting our present and future from climate change. PSR will continue to be an active voice and demand continued action on climate change from Congress and the Biden administration.”

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