The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) was signed by President Biden in August. With the signing of this act, buzzwords and lingo have been thrown around in political arenas and in the media. Here are six keywords you have likely heard and their meaning.
The act lists promises made to invest in clean energy across the country. The word clean energy is used to describe energy sources that limit harm to the environment and generate little to no emissions.
Clean energy sources include solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal energy. The act will invest billions across the country, especially in minority communities, to build renewable energy infrastructure. A pull to renewable energy comes from its ability to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas responsible for accelerating climate change.
Tax credits are given to individuals and businesses. They are a tax incentive that allows individuals and businesses to subtract the amount of credit from what they owe in taxes to the state or federal government. It can be seen as a discount for a certain purpose.
The IRA mentions various opportunities for businesses and homeowners to collect tax credits with proof that they have made energy-efficient upgrades to their businesses or homes. Tax credits will also be given to those who purchase used or new clean vehicles, like electric vehicles (EVs).
Priorities within the act to generate jobs and promote energy security are centered around domestic production. Domestic production means utilizing American workers and manufacturers to build renewable energy hubs, constructing materials, and support the economy.
Domestic production is also a political keyword often used in lobbying and campaign trails. Through the act, domestic production will be invested with billions of dollars to reach a 40% cut in America’s greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.
Climate change presents many challenges to society. Mitigation is often used as a way to describe human interventions that aim to reduce the overall problem of climate change or its after-effects. The IRA act lists mitigation techniques, like clean energy and efficient infrastructure, as the main objectives to receive funding.
Mitigation is used to describe an approach or solution to a problem, such as climate change, as well as its specific threats, like drought, natural disasters, and pressure on wildlife and human health.
The IRA lists energy security as being an effect of the act through domestic job production and renewable energy. Energy security is described as placing energy independence into the country, lessening reliance on foreign energy imports over time.
Renewable energy production from wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower is expected to help decrease dependence on foreign energy while growing American job opportunities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental injustice is seen in the majority of lower-income and minority communities. These communities are more likely to be left behind when addressing environmental concerns like clean water and air, chemical exposure, and food security.
The IRA cites that billions of dollars will be funded to address environmental justice concerns across the country. Programs will be developed to assist lower-income and minority communities in overcoming environmental justice issues.
Disadvantaged communities are less likely to invest in energy-efficient appliances, vehicles, and other opportunities. The act thus states that such communities will receive funding and guidance to be able to obtain tax credits and other opportunities in equal ways compared to middle and upper-class communities.