Montana Conservation Voters: Inflation Reduction Act provides transformational change
Montana Conservation Voters
Last week, Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin reached a deal and laid out a plan for a reconciliation package known as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). With this deal, Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in transformational change that will help cut planet-warming pollution by roughly 40 percent by 2030 and protect our communities from future devastation.
While this deal is not perfect and there are elements we wish were not in the bill, it’s clear that we are living in our now or never moment; the climate crisis is exacerbating extreme weather and wildfires in Montana like never before. We need solutions now.
This critical climate legislation would invest $369 billion in climate, clean energy and tribal climate resilience programs. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lower energy and health care costs, fight inflation and support and create millions of new jobs leading a clean energy economy.
That’s why we ask you to support the Inflation Reduction Act and call on Montana’s delegation to vote yes.
IRA WILL IMPROVE THE ECONOMY AND LOWER COSTS
● 126 top economists: "This historic legislation makes crucial investments in energy, health care, and in shoring up the nation's tax system. These investments will fight inflation and lower costs for American families while setting the stage for strong, stable and broadly-shared long-term economic growth."
● Bipartisan list of former treasury secretaries support IRA: Five former Treasury secretaries — including Hank Paulson, who served under President George W. Bush — signed a statement strongly backing the "Inflation Reduction Act."
● Forbes: Experts Agree, the Inflation Reduction Act accomplishes a lot for small businesses and working families
● “This legislation furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of supporting Americans and small businesses from the ground up by lowering healthcare costs for millions, reducing the deficit, investing in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and addressing longstanding tax disparities that benefit the wealthiest corporations.”
● Moody's Analytics finds the Manchin & Schumer-backed Inflation Reduction Act will move “the economy and inflation in the right direction, while meaningfully addressing climate change and reducing the government’s budget deficits."
● Energy innovation study: projects that by 2030 the plan will create 1.4 – 1.52 million new jobs in clean energy, clean manufacturing, and the electric vehicle industry across the country (graph below).
RA WILL BE THE SINGLE LARGEST ACTION THE U.S. ON CLIMATE CHANGE
● Energy innovation study projects that the IRA would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 37 to 41 percent below 2005 levels in 2030.
● “It would cover two-thirds of the emissions gap between business-as-usual and the nation’s current emissions targets. making it realistically possible for executive, state, and local actions to bridge the remainder.” This legislation gets us on track to address the impacts of climate change.
● Note that these reductions account for emissions increases from the new oil and gas supply provisions. For every ton of emissions caused by the new oil and supply provisions, at least 24 tons of emissions reductions are achieved from other provisions in the IRA.
● It would also bring significant health benefits, avoiding 3,700-3,900 premature deaths annually in 2030, with reductions concentrated in communities of color.
● Avoided air pollution would also prevent up to 100,000 asthma attacks and up to 417,000 lost workdays in 2030.
● Rhodium Group study shows similar numbers for overall climate impact: “The IRA can cut U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions down to 31 to 44 percent below 2005 levels in 2030 — with a central estimate of 40 percent below 2005 levels.”
THE IRA LOWER COSTS FOR MONTANANS
● Lowers Energy Costs
● Rhodium: “The clean energy investments in the package can help to reduce household energy costs in the medium-term. These costs — residential electricity bills, bills for home heating fuels like natural gas or fuel oil and expenditures on transportation fuels like motor gasoline and diesel — decline by $730 to $1,135 in 2030 relative to 2021, driven by a mix of lower fuel prices and electricity rates.” (graph below)
● Lowers Health Care Costs (Washington Post breakdown)
● Allowing Medicare to negotiate some drug prices saving $100 billion
● Drug price inflation cap saving $100 billion
● Repealing Trump Administration’s drug rebate rule saving $120 billion
DOES ALL THIS WITHOUT RAISING TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS
● Closes tax loopholes to require corporations pay at least 15 percent every year.
● New York Magazine called the assertion that this deal raises taxes on the middle class “false”
● Demonstrate funding is coming from improved tax enforcement and reduction in health care costs
● Secretary Yellen confirms IRA will not raise taxes on families earning less than $400,000/year. VOTERS SUPPORT THE BILL AND THESE INVESTMENTS BY WIDE MARGINS
● 73 percent overall support for the package
● By a 40-point margin, voters said the bill’s focus on climate change makes them more likely to support it
● 66 percent overall support (24 percent opposed) after hearing the tax portion of the bill
● “The Inflation Reduction Act is overwhelmingly popular with the public, including among independents.” We deeply appreciate you reviewing this memo and taking the time to consider supporting the Inflation Reduction Act and the biggest thing the U.S. has ever done to tackle climate change. We would love the opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss this in more detail. Let us know how we can be most helpful as you are considering your support.