Wednesday, August 17th 2022, 6:24 pm
The Biden administration is touting the ways the Inflation Reduction Act, which the president signed into law Monday, will benefit each state individually, especially when it comes to lowering energy costs and creating new jobs.
"Let me say from the start with this law," President Biden said at the signing ceremony, "the American people won and the special interests lost."
The law is certainly not the all-encompassing Green New Deal once proposed by Democratic progressives, although it does still include the largest investment yet in fighting climate change -- about $370 billion. And the administration says there's plenty there that will help Oklahomans.
In a fact sheet distributed Tuesday, the White House listed the ways the administration believes Oklahoma will benefit from the law:
LOWER ENERGY COSTS
The Inflation Reduction Act will make it more affordable for Oklahoma families to purchase energy efficient appliances when they need to, make repairs around their homes, and save money on their utility bills each month, through:
In 2021, there were already 21,602 Oklahoma workers employed in clean energy jobs. The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, bringing an estimated $20.2 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Oklahoma between now and 2030.
It provides a historic set of tax credits that will create jobs across solar, wind, storage, and other clean energy industries.
These credits include bonuses for businesses that pay a prevailing wage, so that Oklahoma workers earn a good paycheck as we build the clean energy future in America.
Manufacturers employ 128,900 workers in Oklahoma, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help us make the technologies of the future at home— supporting local economies and strengthening supply chains.
The Inflation Reduction Act will boost U.S. manufacturing of clean energy and transportation technologies, as well as investments for a new Advanced Industrial Facilities Deployment Program to position America to lead the growing global market for clean steel, aluminum, cement, and more.
Oklahoma is home to 362,364 small businesses, representing 99.4% of all businesses in the state, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money.
Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills.
Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.
The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper to purchase an electric vehicle, with upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and $4,000 for used EVs, helping middle-class Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs.
In Oklahoma, millions of people will be eligible for these discounts. Oklahoma recently submitted a state plan for using funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out EV charging stations along highways.
The Inflation Reduction Act will significantly reduce pollution, resulting in 100,000 fewer asthma attacks in America in 2030, and position the U.S. to achieve President Biden’s climate goals.
Lowering greenhouse gas emissions will not only avoid costly climate impacts from more extreme weather, but also improve local air quality— preventing premature deaths and reducing air pollution.
In addition to reducing pollution across the economy, the Act will benefit communities most in need of cleaner air, with in environmental justice block grants, investments for cleaner buses and trucks, and a Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator that will prioritize emissions-reducing projects in disadvantaged communities.
The Inflation Reduction Act supports climate-smart agriculture practices, which will help Oklahoma’s 77,200 farms lead on climate solutions and reward their stewardship.
Electric cooperatives, which serve about 530,000 homes, businesses, and other customers in Oklahoma, will for the first time be eligible for direct-pay clean energy tax credits.
And this legislation dedicates investments for rural electric cooperatives to boost resiliency, reliability, and affordability, including through clean energy and energy efficiency upgrades.
The Inflation Reduction Act will upgrade affordable housing, including projects that boost resilience in the face of intensifying extreme weather.
In Oklahoma, tens of thousands of people live in affordable housing units that are eligible for upgrades like flood-proofing and storm resistance, as well as clean energy and electrification.
A new Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program includes support for transportation projects and planning to protect against flooding, extreme heat, and more. The Inflation Reduction Act also invests in strengthening America’s forests, including
programs focused on preventing wildfires and for tree planting projects that help protect communities from extreme heat.
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