The Inflation Reduction Act, with its nearly $370 billion allocation for climate and clean energy, is expected to significantly reduce U.S. emissions in the power and transportation sectors. However, a survey found that 71% of Americans know little or nothing about the bill, with 57% disapproving of President Biden’s handling of climate change. In response, advocacy group Climate Power has launched a $80 million ad campaign to promote the Act and Biden’s involvement in it, hoping to influence voters in key swing states where the Act has created jobs and spurred clean energy funding.
Inflation Reduction Act: Climate Benefits and Voter Impact
The Inflation Reduction Act’s $370 billion allocation for climate and clean energy could be more impactful for the environment than President Joe Biden’s reelection prospects. The law has enabled the opening of a solar panel factory in Georgia and construction of a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan, potentially aiding the United Statessignificantly reduce its emissions in the coming years. But U.S. voters may be unaware of these strides.
According to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, 71% of Americans lack substantial knowledge about the bill, with 57% disapproving of Biden’s handling of climate change. Climate Power, a liberal advocacy group allied with the White House, has launched a $80 million ad campaign to raise awareness about the Inflation Reduction Act and Biden’s role in its formulation.
The campaign focuses on key swing states, organizing on-the-ground events in Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan. These states, along with Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, have seen nearly 62,000 new jobs due to the Inflation Reduction Act, supported by roughly $68 billion in private and federal clean energy funding. How these efforts could influence voters’ decision in these states is still uncertain.
In Arizona, Biden’s slim margin in 2020 could be bolstered if the almost 13,000 residents who gained employment from the Inflation Reduction Act swing in his favor. However, despite the state’s recent trend towards Democrats, Biden’s victory is not certain. The state has grown as a battery manufacturing hub, with two new battery manufacturers investing over $5 billion.
Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, Georgia has witnessed significant clean energy investments. The QCells solar plant in Dalton, set to double its workforce, and the planned factory by electric truck maker Rivian are two major developments. Remarkably, even staunch critics of Biden among the state’s Republicans have welcomed the clean energy job boom.
Michigan, another state that has drawn significant benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act, is key to Biden’s reelection. The bill spurred the creation of Ford’s $3.5 billion battery plant, BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, and other billion-dollar investment projects in battery manufacturing.
Despite a decline in Democratic victory margins, Biden won Nevada by a comfortable margin in 2020. Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen is running her reelection campaign based on her support for the Inflation Reduction Act, while Unimacts opened its first U.S.-based factory in Las Vegas due to the Act’s incentives.
Despite its tendency towards Republicans, Biden has generated some economic momentum in North Carolina. The state stands to benefit from the administration’s efforts to bring critical mineral production back to the U.S. from China, with significant potential for a lithium-mining revival.
Pennsylvania, a leading fossil-fuel-producing state, has seen limited benefit from the energy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. However, Re:Build Manufacturing’s $81 million investment in a clean energy component manufacturing campus could bring 300 new jobs.
Biden’s narrow victory in Wisconsin might not find significant support from the law’s effects thus far. The state could potentially create thousands of jobs by 2030, but most have yet to materialize. However, early efforts have centered on electric vehicles, with ABB and Ingeteam announcing new investments and job creation.
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