The New Bill on climate action For USA Citizens
Does the new Bill completely leave out fossil fuel industries? What are the listed incentives to switch to clean energy?
The Recent development on New Bill of Climate Change for USA
On August 7, the U.S. With a simple majority of 51 to 50, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 2022. After the Senate was evenly divided, Vice President Kamala Harris cast her tie-breaking vote to help the approval. All Republicans opposed the bill, but after a protracted debate, the Democrats prevailed by using the budget reconciliation procedure. This legislation is a scaled-back version of President Biden’s Build Back Better Act (BBBA), which the Senate rejected. The IRA places a special emphasis on healthcare, the environment, and tax provisions that take inflation into account.
What are the provisions for climate change?
The Bill represents the biggest investment made in the United States to advance clean energy. It includes deals worth $369 billion for the switch to clean energy. It aims to reduce the energy bills of American households by giving low and middle-income households a tax deduction for switching to electricity. It also aims to increase domestic production of essential minerals and heat pumps. The Bill provides funding for disadvantaged low-income communities and tribal communities to take advantage of zero-emission technologies that lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve climate resilience, and reduce risks from extreme heat. The Bill offers substantial tax credits for electric vehicle projects, wind and solar energy projects, and other renewable energy sources. The Bill also imposes a tax on the biggest and most successful corporations to ensure that they pay their fair share, but it does not impose any taxes on households with annual incomes of less than $40,000 per household.
Additionally, it charges for methane leaks caused by oil and gas drilling. The federal government offers land for onshore and offshore drilling as a requirement for developing renewable energy. At the same time, the Bill also seeks to increase investments in fossil fuels. As a result, it restrains the development of renewable energy while allowing oil and gas to expand.
Why does the United States want to make investments to combat climate change?
Extreme climate threats are currently posed to the United States. This includes the recent increase in frequency and severity of heatwaves, wildfires, cyclones, floods, and hurricanes. The country is now very concerned about the ongoing floods in Kentucky brought on by a lot of rain and the wildfires in California brought on by dry lightning. Extreme weather conditions and climate change are related.
Climate activists criticise the bill for combining the leasing of land for oil and gas drilling with the development of renewable energy, which is the cause of global warming.
President Joe Biden has also made a few climate-related commitments. Since he took office, he has made addressing climate change a top priority. He signed a new methane agreement in 2021 to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and he committed to the new ambitious target of cutting emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. He unveiled the Build Back Better plan, a multi-trillion dollar agreement with significant climate change provisions.
Republicans’ objections to the Bill: Why?
The legislation drew criticism from a number of groups, including supporters of fossil fuels and climate change activists, in addition to Republicans and a segment of the Democratic Party. By introducing numerous amendments that criticised the Bill’s inability to control inflation, the Republicans attempted to delay the Bill’s passage in the Senate. With the exception of Senator John Thune’s amendment to exempt some companies from the minimum corporate tax, all proposed amendments were defeated.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, voted in favor of John Thune’s amendment to support the business-friendly policies of her home state of Arizona. The Democratic Party had to accept some changes to its policy. The Senate’s earlier rejection of President Biden’s BBBA was largely due to Senator Joe Manchin. But after much thought, he decided to support the current version, which places more emphasis on cutting deficits. Supporters of fossil fuels criticize the bill for failing to consider the communities whose livelihoods depend on the sector. After their own Senator Joe Manchin decided to support the bill, the staff of a coal plant in West Virginia recorded a protest.
How does the Bill assist the United States in achieving its climate goals?
The Bill, which represents the largest-ever investment in addressing the climate crisis in U.S. history, will assist the country in reaching its goal of reducing emissions by 50–22% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Rhodium Group estimated that investments made under the Bill could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 31 to 44% by 2030. Given that China is a major producer of solar energy, the bill can help the United States compete with China in terms of renewable energy production. Additionally, it may aid in generating domestic employment.
Because the United States is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, the Bill has the potential to be a turning point for global climate action. It does not, however, address any of the problems with international climate finance, which is a significant barrier to international climate action. It is only a small step in the direction of achieving the climate target set forth in Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, which states that global temperature should be kept below 2 ° C. Despite the fact that the Bill is insufficient to address the climate crisis, such historic initiatives by the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases can serve as a model for other major emitters to use as motivation for their own climate action.
Have other nations made similar climate-related announcements?
Japan announced its “Invest in Kisida” plan in May 2022 with the goal of raising the country’s economy by $1.1 trillion. According to the plan, the nation wants to switch to clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46% by 2030. The European Union (EU) introduced its “Fit for 55” plan, which aims to cut emissions by 55% by 2030, in June 2021. The proposal is anticipated to pass into law soon. Both the U.S. and the EU can contribute significantly to taking responsibility for historical emissions because they are the largest emitters. Doctoral student Akriti Sharma works at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru.
Summary Of the USA Climate Bill
The U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 2022 on August 7. The IRA places a special emphasis on healthcare, the environment, and tax provisions that take inflation into account.
The Bill represents the biggest investment made in the United States to advance clean energy. It aims to lower energy costs for American households by giving low- and middle-income households a tax deduction for switching to electricity. The Bill offers funding so that underprivileged low-income communities and tribal communities can take advantage of zero-emission technologies. Additionally, it charges for methane leaks caused by oil and gas drilling.
Climate change activists, however, criticise the bill for combining land leasing for oil and gas drilling with the development of renewable energy, which is the cause of global warming.