Many proponents of the Inflation Reduction Act like to talk about two of its major missions: Reducing health care costs and increasing taxes on corporations – long-time goals of many that don’t always meet their mark.
But another aspect of the $430 billion bill that has passed both houses of Congress and awaits President Joe Biden’s signature appears to be more of a certainty: The bill provides $369 billion to fight climate change.
The money will be spent in a variety of ways, including incentivizing domestic energy production, encouraging energy efficiency and accelerating the growth of electric vehicles – all longtime goals of Gov. Phil Murphy and the state’s utilities.
More than that, it provides funding that will spur investment in clean energy projects – helping to make green hydrogen, renewable natural gas and other concepts more affordable.
Ralph Izzo, the chairman and CEO of PSEG, said the bill will have great impact on the state.
“The Inflation Reduction Act will help secure a low carbon future and enable us to meaningfully tackle climate change, a threat to all people here and now,” he said. “The clean energy tax credits in particular will drive clean energy investment and help build a domestic supply chain to power our economy.
“For New Jersey, tax credits will support renewable technologies including offshore wind and is expected to reduce the contribution residents would otherwise make to preserve New Jersey’s nuclear energy that accounts for 90 percent of the state’s carbon free electricity.”
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D, 6th district) applauded the inclusion of the superfund tax on oil and petroleum companies – and tax that proponents say could raise $11.7 billion.
Pallone has long advocated for reinstating the tax on these companies to ensure polluters, not taxpayers, foot the bill for cleaning up waste and pollution.
“Today marks a historic day in our campaign to clean up Superfund sites,” he said. “Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, American taxpayers will not have to pay for the mistakes of corporate polluters.
“I’m pleased that the tax on oil and petroleum companies will now be reinstated. With this new funding source, the Environmental Protection Agency will be able to tackle more cleanups and address cleanup backlogs years in the making. Taxpayers are tired of footing the bill for cleanups, and I’ll continue to fight to ensure that we hold the corporations responsible for polluting our communities accountable.”
Ed Potosnak, the executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said the country has taken a massive step forward in the fight against climate change.
“The Inflation Reduction Act represents the largest single investment in clean energy in our nation’s history,” he said. “It is essential to meeting our targets to curb climate pollution and avert a climate catastrophe.
But this landmark law does more than that. By investing $370 billion in climate, the federal government has taken an important step toward building a 21st century economy powered by clean energy that will create millions of good-paying union jobs while lowering energy costs and addressing our nation’s shameful history of environmental racism.”
Congressman Donald Norcross (D, 1st District) said he feels the bill not only fights climate change but helps the economy.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is a job creator first and foremost,” he said. “Investing in clean energy by manufacturing solar panels, offshore wind components, and batteries domestically means our energy future is going to be made in America.
“I’m proud to report that my offshore wind incentives are included in this bill, which will help grow South Jersey’s offshore wind industry. That means good-paying jobs and reducing our dependence on oil and gas from places like Russia.”