BIG NEWS: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin reached a deal with Congressional Democrats on a sweeping climate and energy package that supposedly would address the climate crisis, now called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The Senate passed the bill on Sunday, August 7, and the House of Representatives plans to vote on it this Friday, August 12.
This bill could have been our best – and maybe our only – chance to make real progress on fighting climate change and creating the just environmental and economic future the Biden administration promised voters. It should've been a major success for climate policy, thanks to tireless activists who worked to hold Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accountable to get Sen. Manchin to the table on climate.
But, among the desperately needed good progressive measures in the IRA are bad policies and hundreds of billions of dollars in poison pills – handouts to fossil fuels, false climate solutions, and Big Nuclear. These provisions would profit dirty and polluting energy industries that are causing climate and ecological crises at the expense of taxpayers, environmental justice, and TRUE investment in the 100% renewable, just, and sustainable energy future we deserve.
Frankly, the harm they would cause can’t be justified, and may actually block renewable energy and other real climate solutions in the bill.
Of the $369 billion dollars, up to $72 billion is slated for subsidies to aging nuclear reactors — a wasteful expenditure that will not create a single new job, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by any amount, nor make any progress towards climate action. The measure is nothing more than a corrupt bailout scam by the nuclear industry and their cronies in Congress. There is also:
$250 billion in taxpayer-guaranteed loans to prop up old nuclear and fossil fuel power plants
$40 billion in taxpayer loans that could go to building new reactors and fossil fuel power plants
$700 million to promote domestic uranium mining and enrichment
We cannot settle for the inadequate, unjust, and wasteful policies in the Inflation Reduction Act. We cannot settle for a bill that backs false climate solutions and sacrifices frontline communities. We MUST demand better from Congress: a strong national policy for climate, the economy, and for environmental justice. The time to act is now. Demand that Congress and the Biden administration eliminate the massive subsidies to nuclear power and other dirty energy.
Center for Biological Diversity: Manchin Poison Pills Buried in Inflation Reduction Act Will Destroy Livable Climate
REPORT - Dr. Mark Cooper: Building a 21st Century Electricity System
Friends of the Earth: Biden backs $195 billion nuke bailout
US Climate Action Network: Vision for Equitable Climate Action
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung-NYC: Nuclear Power and Climate Action