The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is being hailed as a life-saver for the planet and Biden’s presidency.
It is all smoke and mirrors.
Jean Su of the Center for Biological Diversity explains.
“This was a backdoor take-it-or-leave-it deal between a coal baron and Democratic leaders in which any opposition from lawmakers or frontline communities was quashed,” Su said. “It was an inherently unjust process, a deal which sacrifices so many communities and doesn’t get us anywhere near where we need to go, yet is being presented as a savior legislation.”
Jacobin's commentator, Branko Marcetic writes ""People need to understand the realities of the bill—that it's a legislative ransom note written by a fossil fuel industry that backed and now celebrates it, one we had no choice but to go along with given the political realities..."
The New Republic's Kate Aronoff noted that it "...consigns more people to living next to more fossil fuel infrastructure for longer; in many cases, that means consigning more people—predominantly poor people, Black people, and Brown people—to disease and death."
Food & Water Watch managing director of policy Mitch Jones said that "it's no surprise that climate policy tailored to meet the demands of a coal baron would fall well short of what's needed to adequately address the severity of the climate crisis we face...The fact that oil and gas executives seem pleased with this legislation speaks volumes about its glaring shortcomings,"
"This new bill is genocide, there is no other way to put it," said Siqiniq Maupin, executive director of Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic. "This is a life-or-death situation and the longer we act as though the world isn't on fire around us, the worse our burns will be."
Greenpeace USA says the IRA "...pours gasoline on the flames."
Ebony Twilley Martin, Greenpeace USA's co-executive director, called the bill "a slap in the face to the frontline communities, grassroots groups, and activists that made this legislation possible."
"The IRA is packed with giveaways to the fossil fuel executives who are destroying our planet," she continued. "It sacrifices the same people who have always borne the brunt of oil, gas, and coal infrastructure and climate crisis: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and low-income communities. Folks living on the Gulf and in the Permian Basin." She added, added that a side deal on reforming the federal permit process for energy infrastructure "is simply a disaster" but that "is what happens when the industry responsible for climate change also calls the shots on climate policy."
Center for Climate Integrity president Richard Wiles also emphasized that "the long shadow of Big Oil's climate deception hangs over this legislation...the fossil fuel industry continues to wage a relentless campaign of disinformation, deception, and dark money to block climate progress and keep the nation hooked on its products."
Tom Solomon and Jim Mackenzie, co-coordinators of 350 New Mexico, concurred that "the Inflation Reduction Act is a stark example of the naked corruption of government in Washington D.C....The continued ability of the fossil fuel corporations to buy their way into business as usual in the face of accelerating climate catastrophe is alarming and depressing,"
Historic Climate Bill, Say Clear-Eyed Critics, Still 'Pours Gasoline on the Flames' (commondreams.org)
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