At a White House briefing on Monday, Yahoo News asked Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to assess the sharp rise in renewable energy projects in Republican-led states like Texas since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
According to data from US Energy Information AdministrationTexas is poised to overtake California in solar capacity, and has aggressively pursued construction of new wind, solar and battery storage projects in the second half of 2022.
“As far as Texas is concerned, what an opportunity for every state to be able to produce clean energy. And in fact, this morning’s Politico story indicated there was an abundance of announcements coming out of the red states. Great! We want to be able to see the energy, And clean energy produced in every pocket of the country — blue states, red states — really, it helps save people money, so it’s all about the environment.”
In August, President Biden signed the Reducing Inflation Act into law. Since then, the companies have announced tens of billions of dollars in renewable energy projects across the country, Politico reported Monday, including a large proportion in Republican-led states where lawmakers voted against the legislation.
While many Republican lawmakers and governors have shied away from supporting laws that would begin to address the rise in global temperatures caused by burning fossil fuels, they are less resistant to the boom in renewable energy jobs that resulted from the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Just because you’re voting against the bill doesn’t mean the whole bill is a bad bill,” Rep. Jarrett Graves, R-Laura, told Politico. “I go out there and call our district to try to get transportation money, to try to get energy money. That’s my duty. I’m not embarrassed by it. I don’t think it goes against my vote.”
The new law’s $369 billion in climate-related spending over 10 years targets five areas: clean energy costs to consumers, decarbonization of various sectors of the economy, domestic clean energy manufacturing, environmental justice, and land use. But it is the powerful tax breaks imposed by the law that experts say have fueled the manufacturing and jobs boom.
“I’m really excited to see that, especially next year as companies really start to internalize IRA and determine what that means for their bottom line, to see all the growth in manufacturing facilities that might come as a result of IRA,” said Robbie Urvis, senior director of modeling and analysis at Energy Innovation. Policy & Technology, for Morning Consult.
While the new law’s overarching goal is to spur a transition to renewable energy sources and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, Democrats have long promoted the creation of new green jobs in their proposals to tackle climate change.
In 2019, when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D, introduced her Green New Deal resolution in the House of Representatives, Republicans responded by attacking it as a “job killer” that would lead to big tax increases.
But an October analysis by the BlueGreen Coalition and the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Institute for Political Economy Research found that the inflationary measure would create 9 million jobs by 2032.
On the growth of the renewable economy in the United States, Granholm said Monday that “it’s good for the planet, but it’s also good for jobs, and it’s good for us to be energy independent, which is exactly what the president would like to see — domestic, clean, independent energy, so we can be strong and resilient.” .