If you haven’t yet heard, the Inflation Reduction Act has passed the House of Representatives and is on its way to President Biden’s desk. We’ve covered it before, but I’ll say it again: It’s a big step forward in the sense that it’s the largest climate package passed ever, but it comes with some very significant concessions.
Yessenia Funes wrote an excellent edition of the Atmos Frontline newsletter on where we go from here in the wake of the IRA. One takeaway is that there is a lot of work to be done in terms of rebuilding the climate movement after the fissures caused by the IRA; This can include making sure frontline communities are able to access the resources and funds that did survive into the final iteration of the bill, and also continuing to press for things like Biden declaring an official climate emergency, which could allow for policies that would fill in the gaps of the IRA. (You can tell Biden to declare a climate emergency here!)
Another takeaway coming out of the post-IRA frenzy is the need to take on Wall Street; Even if we are able to get our policy-ducks in a row (which they’re not, yet, but working on it), we still need to stop the fossil fuel industry. Check out what’s happening at Stop the Money Pipeline for ideas on how to get involved.
Other news coming out of the climate movement includes an exciting climate law coming out of Massachusetts: The law boosts the wind power industry in the state, as well as decarbonizing the Boston-area transit system by 2040, and requiring all new cars sold in Massachusetts to be zero-emissions by 2035. Plus, it allows 10 municipalities in the state to ban outfitting new buildings with fossil-fuel-powered appliances.
And last but not least, Biden is talking (once again) about student debt reform. The link between confronting the climate crisis and forgiving student loans might not be obvious, but as Yessenia Funes has written in a past iteration of the Atmos Frontline newsletter, “The people need financial security. And the youth need access to affordable higher education. Both are key to achieving climate justice. We can’t control the floods or the fires, but we can control the support we offer one another. We must demand more from the people we’ve elected—especially when they have yet to make due on their promises.” Read the full post here, and take action with the NAACP to ask for the cancellation of student debt.
Thanks for reading!