Commentary: Let’s make sure Minnesota benefits from the Inflation Act – Alexandria Echo Press

By Drew Everly and Jeanne Johnson

The Inflation Reduction Act has been the subject of much discussion since President Biden signed it into law.

But whether our feelings about this partisan bill are positive or negative, the money has been allocated, and we need to make sure the money works for Minnesota.

The law combines programs, fees and tax credits to increase the rate at which the United States embraces clean energy, including solar, wind, nuclear and hydrogen. It will give Americans rebates covering 50% to 100% of the cost of installing new energy-efficient home electrical appliances, such as heat pumps, water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves and ovens, as well as than a 30% solar tax on the roof. credit to reduce utility bills.

Even without the rebates and credits, US households will save between $170 and $220 a year by 2030 from lower electricity costs. Funding for clean domestic energy will also reduce the burden on American taxpayers to subsidize fossil fuel costs or deploy our military to protect global trade routes around foreign oil production.

Farmers and ranchers, who can implement important climate solutions, but who often cannot afford the investments out of pocket, will get money for conservation. The money will fund projects to help store carbon in soil and trees, reduce methane and switch to sustainable fertilizer and crop rotation methods. Meanwhile, foresters will benefit from funds for forest health and resilience as well as incentives to maximize the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the air.

And as the American Nuclear Society has stated, the IRA’s nuclear power provisions “will help preserve the existing nuclear fleet and develop new and advanced reactors leading to tens of thousands of American jobs.” .

But, while we reduce pollution in the United States, other countries continue to release heat-trapping gases into the air that are warming the planet for us all.

One way to increase accountability elsewhere is to impose a levy on products imported from countries that release more pollution in their manufacturing process. The EU is moving fast with a carbon tax that will force countries trading with it to make low-carbon products or pay a tax and we can do the same.

It is now up to Republicans and Democrats to work together to hold other countries accountable. As the new Congress approaches, we urge Rep. Michelle Fischbach to support federal policy that does just that. We need to send a strong message to China and other big polluters: if you don’t follow our lead, you will pay to do business.

And let’s make sure Alexandria, Douglas County and the state take full advantage of everything this legislation makes available.

Drew Everly is director of conservative outreach for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Jeanne Johnson is the former leader of the Alexandria Citizens Climate Lobby and a member of Citizens for a Sustainable Future.