“The Inflation Reduction Act” is our only chance now to reduce significantly global warming pollution through legislation. It is not perfect -nor the only tool in Biden’s toolbox- but it is desperately needed.


July 29, 2022





On July 27, 2022, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), after many months of negotiations, announced an agreement to significantly expand the scope of Senate Democrats’ planned reconciliation bill that increases our energy security, and unclog our supply chains – while reducing our national deficit by $300 billion. If passed, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) would put the U.S. on a path to roughly 40% emissions reduction by 2030, representing the single most significant climate investment in U.S. history. With $369 billion in climate and clean energy investments distributed in the next 10 years, this agreement is a historic breakthrough with a robust package of Clean Energy Tax Credits that would rapidly make electric vehicles, clean power, and clean manufacturing more affordable.

But, the IRA does come with disappointing caveats that include investments in new fossil warming fuels leases, exports, or infrastructure, including a provision that locks the government into permitting new drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska for the next 10 years. But the bill not only essentially locks the government into permitting new oil and gas leases for the next decade; any time the Interior Department wants to allow new wind and solar rights on federal lands, the bill mandates that the agency will have to hold oil and gas lease sales first.  Something Senator Manchin said gives the US “energy security” while touting this new legislation as “well balanced.”

This, to us, is totally unacceptable, and we will do everything we can to ensure that this bill is the start and not the end of climate action and that the compromises in this bill do not undermine future progress. Increased fossil fuel leasing along the Gulf Coast and Alaska and holding new renewable energy expansion hostage to oil and gas leasing are particularly troubling. President Biden can still unleash more actions with his executive powers by Declaring a Climate Emergency, something the CLEO Institute has been calling for over a year, and driving and securing similar local efforts in Florida.

Despite this, it is important to acknowledge this agreement IS a big deal. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make historic investments in climate, justice, clean energy, and jobs, lower costs for families, and help slash climate pollution in the U.S. by an estimated 40 percent by the end of the decade. In addition, the bill supports critical programs to improve our families’ health and cleans up legacy pollution while reducing our deficit by 300 Billion dollars by mainly taxing a 15 percent corporate minimum tax.

The cost of inaction on climate is too high to stop this piece of legislation from moving forward and increasing every second we delay. From extreme and deadly heatwaves to raging wildfires, to worsening hurricanes and floods, communities across the nation and Florida – especially those traditionally marginalized and underserved – are now bearing the brunt of a warming changing climate.

We applaud the progress to date and will work relentlessly to get President Biden to go further and Declare a Climate Emergency to treat this crisis with the agency an emergency deserves. Including stopping the sale of our precious Florida’s gulf coast and pristine coastal areas in Alaska. In the meantime, the Senate and the House should support and pass this historic bill without delay.


The CLEO Institute’s mission is to educate and empower communities to demand climate action, ensuring a safe, just, and healthy environment for all. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The CLEO Institute offers educational programs, advocacy programs and campaigns, and undertakes policy work in order to achieve a world in which all people, governments, and organizations are informed, engaged, and taking action on critical climate issues. CLEOInstitute.org

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