The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, is labeled as the most significant piece of legislation targeted to protecting our climate in our history. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a historic investment that will encourage clean energy, electrification, resilience, and building efficiency.
VAIPL has supported this monumental bill since its introduction as the Build Back Better Bill. We are grateful for the $3 billion in environmental justice block grants and $1 billion for public housing efficiency improvements from the IRA. This is a huge victory and we are grateful to all of you who have made calls, sent emails, lobbied, and showed up in the streets to call on our legislators to act on climate change!
The IRA also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. Justice40 requires 40% of the benefits of all climate and clean energy investments to be spent in disadvantaged communities. Hundreds of federal programs, including those established by the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure and Investment Act, representing historic investments, are being reimagined and transformed to meet the Justice40 goal and maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities.
While we celebrate this crucial step toward a safe climate, we also recognize that the IRA includes troubling provisions around fossil fuel expansion and other false solutions that could continue to place frontline communities at risk. We will fight any proposals that increase carbon pollution, allow additional fossil fuel expansion, or weaken the environmental review process for energy projects.
Communities across Virginia are suffering from the toxins of fossil fuel pollution, sea level rise, extreme heat, and the burden of increasing utility bills and shutoffs. This bill is a step towards addressing these inequities. It will create opportunities to fund projects like the recently approved offshore wind turbines in Virginia Beach.
VAIPL, with our partners at the Virginia Baptist General Convention (BGC), and Viridiant, hosted a webinar on how federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act can lower energy bills for households and places of worship. Click here to access the slide deck for the webinar.
Be on the lookout for more resources on how to access the funds from the IRA! Click next to learn more about our early efforts to get the Build Back Better Act, the former title of the IRA passed.