Today, the Climate Action Campaign, Center for American Progress, Earthjustice, Evergreen Action, and 23 other environmental and climate advocacy organizations called on the U.S. Treasury Department to move with speed, clarity, and with equity as a focus in delivering new guidance on clean energy tax credits included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022.
The recommendations were included in a letter to the Treasury Department as part of a public comment period on the development of the new tax credits. The clean energy tax credits are critical to meeting the president’s commitment to slash climate pollution by at least half by the end of the decade and will account for most of the climate pollution reductions expected from the Inflation Reduction Act.
“These incentives are the keystone of the climate, justice, and jobs strategy that motivated this legislation,” the advocates wrote. “They will not only drive down carbon pollution and combat climate change, but hypercharge our transition to a clean energy economy that will help repair communities facing the brunt of fossil fuel pollution; empower workers with high quality, family-sustaining jobs; and save households from burdensome and volatile energy costs. If implemented correctly, these tax credits will create immediate benefits for people’s everyday lives.”
The main principles the advocates outlined for the implementation of the tax incentives were:
- Speed is crucial and should not come at the expense of clear, comprehensive, and accessible guidance to all eligible communities.
- Taxpayers will need maximum clarity if they are to make informed decisions and realize the benefits of these incentives.
- Treasury must uphold environmental integrity, establish safeguards, and practice sound stewardship to realize the full potential of these investments.
- Treasury must maintain the explicit intent of the legislation to prioritize equity and justice.
- Treasury must maintain the explicit intent of the legislation to create high-quality jobs in the United States that are connected to training pathways.
“Climate is winning thanks to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, and the clean energy tax credits are perhaps the decisive element in how we can reduce climate pollution and help ensure that all consumers can benefit,” said Margie Alt, Climate Action campaign director. “As this new law is implemented, the Biden administration must continue to move quickly, and with an eye toward equity, clarity, efficiency, and environmental integrity. Our communities — and our climate — can’t wait.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act gives the United States the means to drastically reduce climate pollution, create millions of well-paying jobs, slash families’ energy costs, and save thousands of lives,” said Elise Gout, senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress. “The clean energy tax incentives included in the IRA are foundational to turning bold vision into reality — but only if properly implemented. We thank the Treasury for this opportunity to provide feedback on how they advance a subset of these clean energy tax incentives, and urge them to move decisively while centering their process around accessibility, environmental integrity, and the delivery of equity and justice as the statute intended.”
“The IRA has the potential to transform our economy to fight climate change, and the Treasury Department plays an outsized role in making that a reality,” said Martin Hayden, Earthjustice vice president of Policy and Legislation. “The Treasury Department must proceed quickly with the crafting and implementation of tax credits in a transparent way that prioritizes equity and justice while ensuring we meet strong emissions reductions targets. With clear guidance grounded in justice, we’re confident we can realize the full potential of the IRA and drive a transformative shift away from an economy based on dirty fossil fuels.”
“The IRA is the most significant investment in climate action in American history, and the lion’s share of those dollars will be administered by the Department of the Treasury through the law’s clean energy tax credits.” said Dani Hupper, Evergreen Action climate advocate. “That’s why it’s imperative for the Treasury to prioritize rapid, equitable implementation of the tax credits in a way that will uphold environmental integrity, advance environmental justice, and create high-quality family-sustaining jobs across the country. The success of President Biden’s climate agenda depends upon it.”
Read the full text of the letter.