Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued the following statement on the Senate-compromised framework for the Inflation Reduction Act and the proposal for revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):
"Following months of tedious negotiations, the Senate has arrived at a tentative framework for a legislative package that includes strong tax incentives, much-needed health care provisions and reforms, and robust climate protections. The Inflation Reduction Act will help save Americans money, reduce our deficit, combat inflation, and take monumental steps in combatting the climate crisis.
"This legislation would deliver landmark federal investments in climate action, supercharge our progress toward a clean-energy future, and put us on a path to 40% emission reduction by 2030. It would take comprehensive steps to electrify our nation at scale, promote the purchase of new and used electric vehicles, help Americans retrofit their homes, and bolster clean technology manufacturing here in the United States. By providing Americans with access to low-cost, clean-energy alternatives, we can greatly reduce harmful emissions and further transition toward a greener future.
"The Inflation Reduction Act also includes billions in environmental justice investments to help some vulnerable frontline and fenceline communities mitigate the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and the worsening climate crisis. For too long, historically marginalized communities have borne the brunt of climate change and environmental injustice, and we must continue taking steps to ameliorate those wrongs.
"While this legislation represents a historic step forward in our fight against climate change, it is by no means a perfect bill. In order to develop legislation that has a legitimate shot at advancing out of both chambers, concessions were made around offshore drilling, carbon capture, and extracting natural resources on public lands.
"Furthermore, I have deep concerns surrounding a separate proposal for revisions to NEPA. Undermining or weakening environmental review laws would further empower polluting industries and fossil fuel companies to put their interests ahead of vulnerable environmental justice communities. When the time comes, we will do everything in our power to minimize the impacts of any permitting revisions and prioritize the welfare of vulnerable communities.
"In the meantime, we must take immediate action to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. We cannot allow further inaction on climate, and this legislation is our next best step in fighting the climate crisis with the urgency it demands."