Big Sky Connection - The Inflation Reduction Act, which invests $370 billion in clean-energy programs, has passed in the U.S. House. Montana groups dedicated to climate action say it's a major accomplishment for the country. Comments from Joanie Kresich (CRESS-ich), board chair, Northern Plains Resource Council.

 

Click on the image above for the audio. The Inflation Reduction Act includes tax credits for renewable energy, such as wind turbines. (Yay Images/Adobe Stock)

August 16, 2022

Eric Tegethoff

Congress has passed legislation making the largest investment in clean energy in U.S. history.

It has grassroots organizations like Northern Plains Resource Council ecstatic.

Joanie Kresich, board chair of the Council, which represents family agriculture in Montana, said the Inflation Reduction Act is historic for the groups pushing for action on climate change.

"We've never wavered from a vision for a clean energy future, and we feel that vision is within reach now," Kresich asserted. "It's really exciting: Finally, after decades of hope, to have real legislation that's going to help us do what we need to do."

The bill the U.S. House passed over the weekend was slimmed down, compared to earlier versions of the legislation. But it still includes $370 billion for clean-energy programs and is estimated to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 40% by 2030. The bill passed along party lines, with Republicans saying it only expands the deficit and size of government.

Kresich noted the legislation also invests in farmers and ranchers. She pointed out they are on the front lines of climate change and depend on a reliable climate for their work.

"Now we're going to get some really significant federal help, and that's really exciting," Kresich emphasized.

Kresich stressed the changing climate is affecting Montana, and pointed to the recent flooding on the Yellowstone River, which destroyed houses in places like Livingston.

"The kind of damage that happened is a reminder of why we're doing this," Kresich explained. "Why we're trying to make this transition to a clean-energy future."