Multiple environmental groups have come out in strong support of the Inflation Reduction Act being proposed in the Senate, agreeing with President Joe Biden’s assessment about the massive investments in fighting climate change that would occur if the legislation becomes law.
The bill was announced on Wednesday after an agreement was met between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). The projected $739 billion bill lays out an estimated $369 billion that can be spent on issues relating to reducing climate change and energy security.
According to analysis by climate experts, in addition to reducing health care costs and lowering prescription drug prices, the bill would have the effect of reducing carbon emissions by 2030 to below 40% of their peak levels while lowering energy costs and creating jobs in the green energy sector.
On Thursday, Biden announced his support for the bill, highlighting the dramatic effect it would have for environmental concerns: “This bill would be the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis and improve our energy security right away. And it’ll give us a tool to meet the climate goals that are set — that we’ve agreed to — by cutting emissions and accelerating clean energy. A huge step forward.”
Environmental groups and figures associated with the movement have echoed Biden’s position, and several encouraged Congress to quickly pass the legislation.
Former Vice President Al Gore, who has long advocated for pro-environment policies, was among the first to praise the act. “This bill is a long overdue and necessary step to ensure the US takes decisive action on the climate crisis that helps our economy and provides leadership for the world by example,” he said in a statement.
Ramón Cruz, the President of the Sierra Club, an influential grassroots environmental organization, said in a statement, “To borrow President Biden’s line, this is a big f*cking deal.”
Cruz added, “Once passed, this transformative legislation will be the single largest investment in our communities – including those that have long been disproportionately impacted by climate-fueled disasters – and a healthy and secure future for all of us.”
In its statement, Sierra Club urged Congress to pass the bill “without delay.”
Manish Bapna, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the bill was “the ultimate clean energy comeback” and “the strongest climate action yet in the moment we need it most” and called for immediate passage.
The World Wildlife Fund said the bill represents an “unprecedented federal investment focused on climate change and clean energy.” The nonprofit’s senior vice president for climate change, Marcene Mitchell, noted in a statement, “This deal is a cause for optimism, but we can’t afford to miss this moment. Congress needs to pass this bill now.”
The Nature Conservancy told on Congress, “Take this deal and pass it as quickly as you can.” The organization also noted the bill would result in “the largest federal investment ever in addressing the climate crisis.”
In a press release, the Environmental Defense Fund said, “Our families and communities, especially those of us living on the frontlines of the climate crisis, need these fiscally responsible investments now and for the future.”
The Wilderness Society referred to the proposed bill as a “monumental (and sorely needed) achievement” that would “set us on a path to combatting the climate crisis.”
Despite the support from pro-environment groups, Republicans have expressed early opposition to the bill, and it has come under attack from conservative media outlets like Fox News.
This story was written by Oliver Willis, a former research fellow at Media Matters for America, where this story first appeared.