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Aug 13, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act and what it means for Minnesotans

August 13th, Kathryn Hoffman, MCEA St. Paul Office

Good news is rare these days, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate the recent dramatic developments on climate with those of you who have done so much to champion the issue. As many of you likely know, the US House today passed the historic climate bill approved by the Senate last weekend, sending it to President Biden for his signature. This moment has been long in the making and for a while seemed an impossibility to many. 

Let’s be clear, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) doesn’t go far enough, and there were concessions made to achieve this compromise that will have real consequences. But the $370 billion climate section of the bill is the single largest long-term climate investment in our country’s history. Its impacts will be measurable and significant, putting the US in the best position so far to meaningfully address the climate crisis. It’s an achievement worthy of celebration. 

It also strengthens Minnesota’s position to meet the climate challenge. Minnesota’s success in quickly transitioning to clean, renewable energy will now take on even greater importance as many of the incentives in this law will electrify our transportation and building sectors. We all know our state is behind on our greenhouse gas pollution reduction targets, mainly because transportation, residential building and industrial emissions have remained stubbornly high. The incentives and rebates included in the IRA will give those sectors the jolt they need to quickly make needed progress. 


Here’s our breakdown of the bill’s biggest successes: 

  • Experts agree the bill will result in a net 40 percent drop in greenhouse gas pollution emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. This puts the US in a much better position to reach zero emissions by 2050, which scientists say is necessary to fend off the worst consequences of climate change. 
  • It commits $60 billion to environmental justice and supporting disadvantaged areas most impacted by our changing climate 
  • It makes an unprecedented investment in cleaning up and modernizing our electric grid, resulting in a seismic shift away from fossil fuels and the creation of over 1.5 million clean energy jobs. 
  • It provides rebates and tax credits for electric vehicles and to transition homes and commercial buildings from fossil fuels to cleaner, safer, electric alternatives. This will result in lower energy bills as well as fewer deaths, hospitalizations and illnesses caused by air pollution.
  • The bill forces oil and gas companies to pay higher fees to account for methane leaks, a greenhouse gas even more destructive than carbon dioxide.
  • It invests billions to clean up manufacturing and materials sectors (such as steel and concrete) that are hard to decarbonize and have high levels of climate pollution. 


This all represents a significant step forward on climate, but it alone doesn’t go far enough. Additional federal, state and local climate action will be needed, particularly to meet the 50 percent emission reduction by 2030 that climate science demands. That’s why our work in the courts, at state agencies, and at the Minnesota Legislature is so important. Also, since many IRA programs will require state implementation, MCEA will be there to advocate that our communities that need it the most get fast access to these rebates and incentives. Click here to help us keep pushing for climate action. 

You may have seen news coverage that highlights the concessions made to the fossil fuel industry to get this bill passed through the US Senate. These include approval of a gas pipeline in West Virginia, increased oil and gas leasing, and changes to environmental laws, all of which stand to have serious consequences for disadvantaged communities already overburdened by the impacts of climate change. Many of these changes are not yet final. MCEA is working with our allies to better understand their potential impact and prevent any that undermine bedrock environmental protections.   

Once President Biden signs this bill into law, we will get details about how the act will be implemented, including how to access tax incentives and rebates. We will keep you informed as we learn more.

At times, it can seem like we are condemned to inaction on climate, but this is an exciting moment that proves meaningful climate progress is possible. While this bill isn’t perfect, we are excited to see Congress move us in the right direction. Thanks to your support, we are ready to advocate for the next steps needed to address the climate crisis.