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The Senate passed the most ambitious climate spending package in U.S. history on Sunday, prompting optimism among environmental advocates after months of gridlock around President Joe Biden’s emissions-reducing agenda.
Called the Inflation Reduction Act, the legislation earmarks $369 billion for U.S. energy security and fighting climate change.
Vice President Kamala Harris provided the tie-breaking vote on the bill after senators voted along party lines. The bill will now head to the House.
Here’s what climate groups said of the legislation:
American Clean Power:
- “This is the vote heard around the world. It puts America on a path to creating 550,000 new clean energy jobs while reducing economy-wide emissions 40% by 2030. This is a generational opportunity for clean energy after years of uncertainty and delay. This unprecedented investment in clean energy will supercharge America’s clean energy economy and keep the United States within striking distance of our climate goals.”
Solar Energy Industries Association:
- “Today is a monumental day for America’s clean energy progress and global climate leadership. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the Senate, solar and storage companies are one step closer to having the business certainty they need to make the long-term investments that decarbonize the electric grid and create millions of new career opportunities in cities and towns across the country. This legislation is the most transformational investment America has ever made in our climate future, and we are thankful to our members, the clean energy community and every one of our solar champions in Congress for their work to get us to this historic moment.”
Natural Resources Defense Council:
- “The Senate just made climate history. This is the most significant action the U.S. has ever taken to combat climate change. It will benefit the people of all 50 states—their health, their wallets, their homes and their future. And it will help the U.S. deliver on its undeniable responsibility to the rest of the world to do its part to address this global crisis. The House needs to come back quickly to cement this essential climate action. There is no time to waste. This bill is not perfect, but from a climate pollution perspective, the positives heavily outweigh the negatives—by a factor of 10.”
Rocky Mountain Institute:
- “This is a historic moment for climate and clean energy progress not only in the United States, but globally. This legislation gives the U.S. a real chance to reach its Paris Agreement target— while lowering costs for American households.”
American Council on Renewable Energy:
- “The finish line is now clearly within reach. The Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is a historic step toward the clean energy future the American people want, and scientists say we desperately need. The legislation’s landmark investment of $369 billion in climate and clean energy programs will help deploy thousands of megawatts of renewable power, create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs, reduce the cost of electric power, and finally put the country on track toward achievement of our climate goals.”
However, some groups argued the bill carves out too much for fossil fuel projects.
“This bill reflects an unjust process, where the voices of communities at the frontlines of fossil fuel production and harm were largely ignored,” Jean Su, Energy Justice program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said ahead of the bill’s passage.
“While it contains important renewable-energy funding, the bill’s commitment to massive federal oil and gas expansion is dangerously at odds with scientific reality,” she added.