By Maliyah Womack
October 17, 2023
If you’re like me, terms like “IRA” might leave you feeling lost in a sea of conversation and political jargon. But at GPE, we're here to break it down and serve you the real deal. In reality, IRA stands for the “Inflation Reduction Act.” But what exactly does that entail and have to do with you?
The Inflation Reduction Act is quite the game-changer. It's here to inject much-needed funds into the communities that need it most. This bill represents a significant step toward addressing a critical issue: the climate crisis. President Biden signed this bill into law in 2022, and in 2023, it’s only getting better. This latest iteration of the Inflation Reduction Act is allocating a substantial amount of funding to the communities that are at the forefront of combating the climate crisis. The IRA is set to revolutionize clean energy, green infrastructure, eco-friendly transportation, and much more.
Still not sure about the impact? Well, first and foremost, get ready for a surge in job opportunities! This act is set to unlock a multitude of green jobs, not only offering competitive pay but also ensuring they're unionized. Don’t take this lightly, check the facts, since this act has been signed into law there’s been over 170,00 good-paying clean energy jobs created within the first year. Moreover, this act can provide financial support to homeowners making energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, which also helps them save on their monthly energy bills. Environmental organizations and leaders driving the change we need will have increased access to funding, further propelling the programs and community connectivity required. Companies have invested over $270 billion into clean energy projects since the passing of the IRA. Most importantly, in my opinion, with the surge in green jobs and funding from the IRA, our community will have the resources they need to share their knowledge, ideas, and the experience that resides within it to combat the climate crisis.
Our ancestors have always been the OG energy savers, from making sure we switched off all the lights, to wrapping our windows with plastic. It’s only right that we take advantage of the IRA benefits being offered to us.
It gets better from here. Of course the IRA is great for environmental and climate justice, but it will also provide an extremely positive impact on small businesses. Now more than ever, there will be a vast amount of opportunities for small businesses to go green and benefit from IRA funding in the process. Utilizing the SME Climate Hub is a great first step to navigating the road to reducing your energy costs.
I’ll be the first to say, this is a lot of information to digest. Lucky for us our Executive Director, Diamond Spratling, went on IG live with Kyli Wagner, the Executive Director of Defend Our Future, to talk about the amazing impacts of the IRA and how our communities can really take this opportunity and hit the ground running!
If anything stands true, it's that the IRA IRL is the real deal but we need to keep the momentum going if we’re going to continue our fight for environmental justice. Encourage everyone you know to reach out to their state representatives to support IRA funding. Remember, there’s power in our voices!
Image Credits: Into Act!on Content Library