The first report that the Environmental Protection Agency has released about the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act claims that the Democrat-led bill will cut carbon emissions across the economy by as much as 43% compared to levels from 2005.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, said that, by 2030, the IRA will reduce emissions levels anywhere from 35% to 43% below the levels they were at in 2005.
The EPA said that the biggest reduction would come from electric power, where emissions are projected to be slashed by anywhere from 49% to 83% compared to the 2005 levels. Carbon emissions from electricity are projected to be anywhere from 11% to 67% lower in 2030 with the IRA than they would have been without it, according to the report.
The federal agency did say that there are a “handful” of different models that suggest emissions levels will be higher with the IRA as of 2025 than they would’ve been without it. The EPA said, though, that this is because if the IRA wasn’t around, there likely would’ve been more shorter-term investments made in renewable energy around 2025, as previous tax credits would’ve expired then.
The IRA has extended those tax credits, though, which is why the longer-term projections show emissions reductions being flatter over more years, the EPA said.
The largest reduction in both indirect and direct emissions, according to the report, come from electricity used by buildings. The EPA report estimates that emissions will drop by anywhere from 49% to 63% as of 2030.
Next in line is transportation, which is projected to see an emissions reduction of anywhere from 11% to 25%.
The EPA report also said that by 2035, buildings will see a drop in emissions from 52% to 70%, and a drop in emissions in the transportation sector of between 15% and 35%.
Michael Regan, the administrator of the EPA, said in a statement:
“The Inflation Reduction Act is transforming energy production and consumption in dramatic ways, paving the way towards a clean energy future. This report shows robust evidence that America’s clean energy transformation is driving significant reduction in CO2 emissions, putting us on a clear path to achieve President Biden’s bold climate goals.”
As the EPA is a government agency run by Biden, it’s not altogether surprising that the comments from its administrator were so one-sided.
In fact, Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, who serves as the ranking member of the Environment Committee in the Senate, criticized the conclusions of the report. In a statement, she referred specifically to the damage the IRA is projected to do to major West Virginia industries such as coal and natural gas.
In that statement, Capito said:
“It’s no surprise the Inflation Reduction Act, which was written in secret and rushed through Congress on a party-line vote, is extremely unpopular in energy-producing states like West Virginia, and this report outlines exactly why.”