House vote on Inflation Reduction Act sets stage for big climate gains

With the US House of Representatives positioned to approve on Friday the largest investment by the US government to combat climate change, some analysts are projecting the measures contained in the landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) could reduce greenhouse gas emissions even more than the government has projected.

The measure, which passed the US Senate on Sunday, contains $369 billion earmarked for a range of energy and climate investments over the next decade.

The bill could slash emissions from the electricity sector by as much as 75% below levels seen in 2005 by 2030, according to Kevin Rennert, a fellow at Resources for the Future, based on an initial analysis. Absent the new investment, their forecast predicted that current policies would cut emissions more modestly — about 48.5%. Rennert shared these numbers during a seminar this week sponsored by Resources for the Future.

The US government has said the measures would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

The bill expands a tax credit for carbon capture, incentivizes the production of sustainable aviation fuel, provides for grant programs aimed at decarbonizing emissions-heavy sectors, and includes a methane reduction program for oil and gas facilities, among other provisions.