The Inflation Reduction Act Is a Disappointing Act of Federal Greenwashing

The Inflation Reduction Act, which included $370 million for climate and energy initiatives and much-needed subsidies on prescription drugs and Medicare benefits, was passed by Congress Democrats. They were proud to be able to pass it. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader from New York, worked with Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s intractable senator. said the bill “will put the country on track to meet the climate goals we need to preserve for our planet for our children and for our grandchildren.”

It’s tempting to believe him: Many environmental advocates are reporting that the IRA, while imperfect, is a good start. We need climate legislation urgently and could use a win in order to remain optimistic about the future. There are other aspects of the bill that we can celebrate, such as funding for air pollution prevention and a tax on coal that will help miners with Black Lung Disease.

But unfortunately, in order to win Manchin’s approval the Inflation Reduction Act was turned into a profit-fest for fossil fuel giants like ExxonMobilThe bill is largely flawed, with parts of it that invest in clean electricity and greenhouse gas reductions based on false solutions. It is impossible to call something that causes such severe harm a success, especially since the greatest harm will be suffered by those most in need. The Inflation Reduction Act, a federal greenwashing scheme, is disappointing.

Despite all the research indicating the need to halt new fossil fuel production as the first step towards reducing emissions, the IRA does not include this. multiple provisions to increase fossil fuel production. Three canceled oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico were revived by the bill, and to ensure “energy security,” the federal government is required to lease 62 million acresBefore offering any solar or wind leases, the public lands and waters are sold to oil and gas developers.

The bill ensures that fossil fuel industries will reap the benefits of the bill. $3.23 billion in subsidiesCCS technologies are for carbon capture, utilization, and storage. CCS is mostly a smoke-and-mirrors trick: The technology isn’t really there yet, and it doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Ninety percent of CCS projectsThey are used in enhanced oil recovery. In this process, carbon captured underground is stored where it can then be extracted as oil. CCS is a process that captures carbon underground and allows for its extraction again as oil. slow the transitionStay away from fossil fuels, and continue the cycle for extraction.

The Inflation Reduction Act approaches renewable energy using the same profiteering, extractive model that the fossil fuel industry uses. The bill offers discounts that will allow extractive industries to move onto more Indigenous lands and into other disadvantaged communities in order to set up toxic projects such as mines or nuclear power plants.

The Inflation Reduction Act was called by the Indigenous Environmental Network. trojan horseFrontline communities: Although it provides a multitude of grants for disadvantaged communities; recipients must compete with well-funded industries or NGOs to be eligible.

Tara Houska is a Water Protector and a lawyer for Indigenous rights. responded to the bill by saying, “It doesn’t really work to throw money at us if we don’t have habitable places to live. If our communities are underwater or if our air is poisoned and we have pipelines and mines and all the things that are destroying our lands actively, how are some investments in block grants supposed to help us?”

The same model that brought us into this mess cannot be used to solve the climate crisis. Industries that are focused on their profits and do not have any accountability to the communities where their projects are located are not the solution. We need to invest more in our communities. If President Biden and Congressional Democrats really wanted to help frontline communities, they could haveThe public transportation fund was invested instead of in privatized electric cars. It supported community participation and the creation of energy projects. It also supported community-owned renewables.

The Inflation Reduction Act was funded by money. Schumer and Manchin are both inflation reduction. have received major donationsNextEra Energy is the pipeline company that will benefit from the deal. And, at the end of the day, this bill was designed to reduce inflation — not save the planet.

We cannot allow the federal governments to greenwash this package of economic reforms and call it progress. The Inflation Reduction Act will create countless sacrifice zones in the name of “green” energy, already visible in places like Thacker PassNevada President Biden states that progress requires compromiseBut his compromise would require him to sacrifice the most vulnerable communities. You cannot call that a “start” on climate.