Press Release

House passes Inflation Reduction Act, which will mean historic climate and energy investments, a huge victory for miners with black lung and more

The bill also contains significant concessions to the fossil fuel industry that would put communities in harm’s way

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2022

CONTACT
Dan Radmacher, (540) 798-6683, dan@appvoices.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act, sending the bill containing many of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda priorities to the White House for his signature.

The legislation includes billions of dollars in spending and tax breaks aimed at encouraging Americans to install solar and battery storage systems, buy electric vehicles and take other steps that will drastically reduce carbon emissions. It also includes spending to help rural electric cooperatives increase energy efficiency and transition to renewable energy.

In addition to tax and prescription drug price reforms, the Inflation Reduction Act also permanently extends the black lung excise tax — a small tax on coal that will guarantee funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund that ensures miners with black lung get the health care they need if the coal companies they worked for go bankrupt.

The legislation, which passed the Senate Sunday afternoon, also contains some provisions promoting continued fossil fuel use that Appalachian Voices opposes.

“Overall, the Inflation Reduction Act is a major step toward ensuring the United States can achieve its climate emissions reduction goals — while helping many communities that have been dependent on and harmed by extractive industries transition to cleaner, more stable economies,” said Appalachian Voices Executive Director Tom Cormons.

The bill’s investments in clean energy include grants and loans for rural cooperatives to purchase renewable energy and enhance the energy efficiency of their generation and transmission systems, money for a fund to accelerate deployment of low-carbon technologies, funding for Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants that will support community-led priorities to reduce pollution and improve public health and climate resilience, and an extension of federal tax credits for renewable energy with special incentives for projects benefiting disadvantaged communities

“While there is much to celebrate in this historic legislation, it also contains provisions that promote and incentivize the continued use of fossil fuels,” said Deputy Executive Director Kate Boyle. “These provisions threaten to exacerbate the harm communities have already faced as a result of fossil fuel pollution. We remain steadfast in our opposition to such investments and will continue our fight to move the region away from fossil fuels.”

Appalachian Voices also strongly opposes the reported agreement between Sen. Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to force a vote on a fossil fuel industry wish list of radical changes to the energy project permitting process and trying to ram through congressional approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in an attempt to skirt existing regulations.

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Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.

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