Linda Butler: Let's not leave climate money on the table



Published: 05-30-2024 4:08 PM

Modified: 05-30-2024 8:17 PM

A recent EarthTalk column [Gazette, May 15] was headed, “Is the Inflation Reduction Act good for climate?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” This act, passed in 2022 and often called the IRA, is the single largest climate bill in U.S. history. Thanks to the IRA, plus the CHIPS Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, we’re seeing tremendous investments in clean renewable energy, and we’re moving, at last, toward restoring a healthy climate.

Private entities have seized on the subsidies, tax rebates, and other incentives offered by the IRA. Within a year, companies had announced projects involving over 170,000 new clean energy jobs and $278 billion in private investment in areas like EV manufacturing, solar and wind power, and energy storage.

Word also has spread about the IRA’s rewards for consumers. These include rebates for weatherizing or electrifying your home and incentives to upgrade appliances or buy an EV.

But what about cities and towns? They have a huge role to play in cutting emissions to beat back climate change. Many, like Northampton, have their own climate plans, but where’s the money to make them a reality? Well, the IRA has set aside funds for municipalities, too. Billions are on the table. Let’s not leave the money there!

Luckily, we have a new Climate Action and Project Administration (CAPA) department in Northampton with the know-how to find the various sources of funding and navigate through complex application processes. I’m excited to see what they’re going to accomplish.

Linda Butler


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