The Planet You Save has been regularly publishing for nearly a year, and it’s time for a temporary break to rest and think through what's next. I'll be taking a few weeks off from writing here, but will be back the Thursday after Labor Day. Paid subscribers will get their bonus resource newsletter later this month — and I want to hear your questions or story ideas for future newsletters at any time.
At some point tomorrow, the U.S.'s largest investment to slow climate change will likely be passed by the House of Representatives. It's astonishing, a huge deal, and helps drive the country closer to its overall emissions reductions goals. It’s also smaller than originally planned, doesn't directly restrict fossil fuels and may hurt those most affected by pollution and climate change.
While this was an unexpected moment, it also didn’t happen in a vacuum. A host of environmental, democratic, industrial interests — and even Congressional staff themselves — lobbied to push this forward. Convincing Sens. Manchin and Sinema involved some concessions that make these groups absolutely hold their nose — including a separate proposal to benefit specific fossil infrastructure projects.
But as Kate Aronoff writes in this skeptical piece, “The IRA’s passage doesn’t close the book on U.S. climate policy so much as open it.” Fights about what to build, who should benefit, and where the money will be spent just on this bill alone will continue for years, and lot of it will happen in specific communities.
It’s time to pay even more attention.
How modeling emissions cuts from the bill's policies actually work - what other things have to go right to get to 40%
3 ways the Inflation Reduction Act would pay you to help fight climate change
Communities where oil leases and other trade-offs in the bill will hurt the most plan to fight back against polluting projects
A new investigation published in the Orlando Sentinel and The Guardian explores the influence utility companies have over our state politics, journalism, and environmental policy, including some extremely sketchy behavior by one behind-the-scenes contractor in Florida. Listen to the authors talk about the investigation here.
Behind cooling centers: When deadly heat waves hit, these cities are building climate resilience hubs
Chicago has signed a $422.2 million agreement with Constellation New Energy LLC to provide renewable power to government buildings, street lights and all other city assets
Drought in California, deadly flooding in Kentucky: One part of the country has too much water; another has too little. These two things are related. They were also expected.
Energy Transfer held criminally responsible for damage from Mariner East pipeline construction in Pennsylvania
Methane Is Leaking Over Native Grounds. Citizen Scientists Are Fighting Back
A California nonprofit is retrofitting homes to make a "virtual power plant" and fighting gentrification at the same time