PSR Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act Passing the Senate August 8, 2022

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

Congress has moved one enormous step closer to passing significant climate action! After a long and difficult negotiation process, the U.S. Senate has passed the Inflation Reduction Act. This bill, the most important federal climate policy we have ever seen, sets the stage for the acceleration of renewable energy deployment, clean air protections, energy efficiency and building electrification, and reductions in the climate super-pollutant, methane. 

We acknowledge that the legislation is flawed. It includes promotion of additional oil and gas leasing, supports nuclear power, carbon capture and sequestration, and does not adequately address the needs of the communities most disproportionately burdened by climate change and fossil fuel dependency. Despite these flaws, PSR urges the House of Representatives to pass this bill and President Biden to make it the law of the land. 

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

“PSR applauds the Senate for ending decades of congressional inaction and passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which encompasses a historic investment in tackling climate change. The bill’s investments will ease climate change-induced health burdens on the American public and move us closer to our goal of a safe and healthy climate powered by renewable energy. 

“PSR is gratified to see provisions that will help grow the solar and wind industries and dedicate much-needed funding to energy efficiency and building electrification in homes and buildings. These steps are vital to reducing fossil fuel dependency and improving human health. Although this bill does not go far enough to address inequity, it is clear that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color will benefit from this bill. 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.

“Despite its many positive elements, this bill is a compromise. Provisions that promote carbon capture, expanded fossil fuel leasing, and nuclear energy will all prolong our dependence on dirty and dangerous energy sources. There is no place for these policies in the energy transition, and PSR will continue to fight their inclusion in future climate policy. 

“On balance, however, the positives in this bill strongly outweigh the negatives. PSR salutes the Senate for taking action to protect our present and future from climate change and calls on the House to pass the bill promptly.

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