Ever since the Industrial Revolution occurred, individuals have felt the disastrous impact of climate change. Climate change is the long-term shifts in weather patterns and temperatures caused by human activity. This is not to be confused with temperature variability, which is the long-term shifts of temperatures and weather patterns caused by naturally occurring events. Climate change has proven to be detrimental to our world. It causes our polar ice caps to melt, which is hazardous, because the ice in the Artics are what reflects harmful solar radiation. It prevents solar radiation from being absorbed by water or land. Thus, keeping the overall temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere down. Climate change has also caused droughts in regions of Africa, threatened coastal cities by becoming submerged in seawater, increased the destructiveness of hurricanes and so much more. This is why many are urging governments to enact laws that help deal with the matter. Therefore, many were excited to see the new climate change legislation passed by Congress in August 2022. Nonetheless, there are still people who do not believe that this climate change legislation will cause any real change.
This climate change legislation passed in August 2022 is called the Inflation Reduction Act. Despite its name, this law contains many laws that address climate change as a whole. One way this bill will impact climate change is to help reduce greenhouse gasses that are released into the atmosphere. For example, in one article, it states “It will raise over $700 billion in government revenue over 10 years and spend over $430 billion to reduce carbon emissions…”[Vazguez, Judd 2022]. The way this will be done is by including incentives and tax credits for homeowners who upgrade their home to cleaner energy. One of the incentives are tax credits and rebates. According to one article, “…you can subtract 30 percent of the cost of installing solar heating, electricity generation, and other solar home products from your federal taxes…”[Stanger 2022]. This is significant because now Americans have a reason to convert their homes to more environmentally friendly sources of energy. If they do, they can reduce the amount of money that they owe to the IRS in the long term. The only actions that need to take place are solar energy panels that must be installed before 2032. It also doesn’t matter how much the homeowner spends on the solar power equipment because that 30% tax break will be given to them regardless.
Another important provision of this Inflation Reduction Act regards buying electric vehicles instead of gas vehicles. For instance, according to the IRS, people who buy electric vehicles, “…may qualify for a credit up to $7,500 under Internal Revenue Code Section 30D…” Of course, there are certain qualifications that must be met in order to earn this tax credit. Some of the personal qualifications that must be met include the vehicle being for personal use. Also, your income cannot exceed $300,000 for married couples, $100,000 for head of households and $150,000 for all others. The car also has some qualifications that must be met. Some of them include, the car battery having a capacity of at least 7 kilowatt hours, having a total vehicle weight of at least 14,000 pounds, undergoing final assembly in North America, and much more. This is a very great incentive for people to switch to an electric vehicle since they can be paid thousands of dollars for simply having a car powered by electricity.
In conclusion, there are many attempts seen in the Inflation Reduction Act to help combat the destruction which is the result of mankind’s carelessness . Prior to the Industrial Revolution, obtaining food, clothes, or any form of merchandise was much more difficult. Thus, the convenience brought by the Industrial Revolution was welcomed with open arms. People loved that everything was more easily obtainable and still love it to this day. Nevertheless, this ease came with a hefty price. President Joe Biden signing this act into law is creating legitimate reasons for Americans to “go green.” In these critical financial times, offering any sort of monetary relief to people for choosing “greener” options is valuable. I believe a fair number of Americans will utilize this law to “go green”. Although this is a good act, l believe that little will be done overall for climate change. Firstly, the United States is only the second largest contributor to global greenhouse gasses. According to one article, China, “…emits around twice as much as the United States, which is the second largest emitter.” As the greatest contributor, China needs to seriously improve their laws as well. Secondly, not everyone can afford an electric vehicle. Thus, they will opt to continue to drive gas powered cars. Climate change needs radical change. Although this is a big step in a positive direction, the actions of this move may still be overshadowed.
- Vazquez, M., & Judd, D. (2022, August 17). Biden signs inflation reduction act into law | CNN politics. CNN. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/16/politics/biden-inflation-reduction-act-signing/index.html
- Stanger, T. (2022, August 17). How the New Solar Tax Credit in the inflation reduction act works. Consumer Reports. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/home-garden/alternative-energy/how-the-residential-clean-energy-solar-tax-credit-works-a1771685058/
- Credits for new clean vehicles purchased in 2023 or after. Internal Revenue Service. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/credits-for-new-clean-vehicles-purchased-in-2023-or-after
Construction Working Helping Install Solar Panels on a Home