On Nature: Inflation Reduction Act – the Conservative View
Although the Inflation Reduction Act passed Congress along party lines, according to information from republicEn.org, there are parts of it that conservatives can support. For example, the expansion of tax credits for wind and solar projects, green hydrogen, and electric and hydrogen-fueled cars are good.
The Act will reduce carbon emissions in every sector of the economy by encouraging on-shore clean energy manufacturing across the full supply chain and by incentives for energy conservation. There is also a methane fee that should encourage the reduction of emissions of this potent greenhouse gas. Required monitoring will show how much the fee reduces methane pollution.
In addition to measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the bill contains provisions that will ensure our energy security, including expediting offshore oil and gas lease sales, supporting the expansion of nuclear energy, and promoting the domestic mining of critical minerals.
The bottom line is that conservatives endorse those parts of the Act that substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring energy security. They also understand that additional measures are needed, like a carbon border adjustment with a carbon tax to encourage other nations to reduce their carbon emissions, but we have started.
David Voigts is a retired ecologist and the current Conservation Chair for the Prairie Rapids Audubon Society. He is a Tama County native, graduating from Dinsdale High School, and lives in rural Jesup on his wife’s family farm.