Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act, landmark legislation that will lower kitchen-table costs, curb inflation, reduce the deficit, and take historic action to combat climate change and advance environmental justice.
"This legislation will take meaningful steps to lower the costs of health care and prescription drugs, combat inflation and reduce our deficit, and provide robust investments in our continued fight against the climate crisis," said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). "The Inflation Reduction Act will help everyday Americans save money, access life-saving medications more easily, and provide new employment opportunities. I am proud to vote for this historic legislation and send it to President Biden's desk for signature.
Rep. McEachin has long advocated for strong climate and environmental justice provisions in a reconciliation package. The Inflation Reduction Act contains many of his priorities, including:
Clean Energy Tax Provisions: includes $270 billion for clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation tax incentives to help encourage the transition to a clean-energy economy and alleviate air pollution impacts borne by disadvantaged communities
Environmental & Climate Justice Block Grants: includes $3 billion to support community-led initiatives to monitor and combat air pollution and other forms of harmful pollutants
Urban Forestry: includes $1.5 billion to help state, local, and tribal governments mitigate urban heat-island effect and improve air quality
Electric School Buses: includes $1 billion to help support the electrification of America's school bus fleet and other heavy-duty vehicles.
NEPA Implementation Funding: includes $697.5 million to conduct more efficient, accurate, and timely reviews for planning, permitting, and approval processes.
Air Pollution Monitoring & Mitigation: includes $275.5 million for air pollution community monitoring, the expansion of the monitoring sensors network, and support for states' adoption of zero-emission standards for mobile sources
Neighborhood Access & Equity: includes $1.86 billion to support the Reconnecting Communities initiative and help remove or mitigate infrastructural barriers that create obstacles to economic development or pose undue health and safety risks to vulnerable communities
Port Electrification: includes $3 billion to help ports electrify their technology and equipment, reducing air pollution and other harmful emissions
DOE Loan Program: includes $40 billion for DOE's Loan Programs Office to support loan guarantees and direct loans to companies that wish to deploy innovative, clean-energy technologies and manufacture fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles and vehicle components
"The Inflation Reduction Act will supercharge our efforts against climate change, help transition us to a clean-energy economy, and set us firmly on the path to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. It is the single greatest investment in climate in our nation's history and a strong step forward in the fight against the climate crisis," continued Rep. McEachin (VA-04). "While its impacts will be incredibly powerful, this legislation is not without its shortcomings. I will keep fighting for vulnerable frontline and fenceline communities and ensure they benefit from this legislation. Moreover, I continue to have deep concerns around any proposed permitting reforms. We must ensure that protections for historically marginalized and vulnerable communities remain in place and are strengthened, and I will continue to work to protect the well-being of these communities. However, today the Inflation Reduction Act is our best step in the fight against the climate crisis and environmental injustice, but it is by no means the end of those efforts."