Did the Democrats Save Civilization?

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Did the Democrats Save Civilization?

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José Luis Gonzalez / Reuters

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They really did.

The Law on the reduction of inflationwhich is mainly a bill on the climate change with the further help of the health reform, approved in the Senate on Sunday; It will easily pass – by all accounts – to the House, so it is about to become law.

This is a very important question.

The act is not, in itself, sufficient avoid a climate disaster.

US President Joe Biden has warned that climate change poses a "clear and present danger" to the nation, co.  Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP.

US President Joe Biden has warned that climate change poses a “clear and present danger” to the nation, co. Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP.

But it’s a big step in the right direction and sets the stage for further action in the years to come.

It will catalyze progress green technology; its economic benefits will facilitate the approval of further legislative acts; gives the United States the credibility it is necessary to lead a global effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

There is, of course, cynical eager to denigrate the result.

Some on the left were quick to dismiss the bill as a gift to the fossil fuel industry by masquerading as environmental action.

More importantly, Republicans, who unanimously opposed the legislation, are yelling the usual screaming things:

Great expense! Inflation!

But the real experts in energy and the environment are excited with what has been achieved, and serious economists don’t care about the effect on inflation.

Start with the environmental side.

Many people I speak to assume the president’s environmental agenda Joe Biden, as it appears in your original proposal Rebuild betterit must have been very watered down in the legislation that we actually got.

After all, didn’t the Democrats have to make big concessions to win over Senator Joe Manchin?

Aren’t there big giveaways to fossil fuel interests, like aid for a controversial natural gas pipeline?

However, energy analysts believe that any negative climate effects from these concessions will be offset by the gains from clean energy tax credits.

The REPEAT project, compiled by Princeton’s ZERO Lab, produced a side-by-side comparison of emissions cuts under the Reduce Inflation Act and the previous version of the house’s Build Back Better.

By 2035, the IRA, they estimate, will have produced more than 90% of the emissions reductions BBB would have achieved.

After all that legislative drama, Biden’s climate policy is out basically intact.

How was this possible?

Right in the beginning, the Biden administration decided that its climate policy would be pure carrot, without stickwhich would provide incentives for doing the right thing, not penalties for doing the wrong thing.

This strategy was expected to prove politically feasible in a way that, say, a carbon tax would not.

And this hope was confirmed.

Furthermore, it is a strategy that looks set to pay political dividends in the future.

A new study, by E. Mark Curtis and Ioana Marinescu, finds that “the growth of renewable energy leads to the creation of relatively well-paid jobs, which in most cases are located in areas that are at risk of losing due to the decrease. of the use of fossil fuels as extraction works ”.

So what has the Biden administration lost?

Unfortunately, much of the social spending originally included by BBB (child tax credits, universal preschool, and more) has been cut.

This is tragic, even as strengthened health insurance subsidies have been implemented, which help bring the rate of uninsured policyholders in America to an all-time low.

But the Democrats have fulfilled theirs climate promisesmore or less entirely.

And the criticism of the right?

Aside from the pathetic attempt to portray the IRA as a huge tax hike for the middle class, Republicans like it Romney glove they are trying to bundle this legislation with last year’s US bailout, which they say has caused inflation to rise.

It doesn’t matter if this statement is true.

The key is to do the math.

The Reducing Inflation Act requires you to spend less than $ 500 billion over a decade, compared to the US bailout plan’s $ 1.9 trillion in just one year, and will effectively reduce the deficit.

That’s why independent analysts believe it will little effect On inflation.

But if the expense isn’t very big, how can it have such a big impact?

The answer is that right now we are sitting in some kind of cusp.

Renewable energy technology has made groundbreaking advances, and renewable energy is already cheaper in many areas than fossil fuels.

A moderate boost of Public policy is all it takes to move to a much greener economy.

And the law on reducing inflation will provide that boost.

However, given all this, why did all Republican senators vote against the IRA?

Not everyone is ignorant and null with numbers; I’m pretty sure Romney, for example, knows he’s talking nonsense.

Nor can we easily invoke differences of ideology.

The IRA’s climate drive is largely based on tax credits, and Republicans themselves have used tax credits to achieve social goals, such as the (heavily abused) Zone of Opportunity credits in state tax cuts. United. Donald Trump of 2017.

Almost certainly, what we are really looking at is the politics of resentment.

Every Republican in the Senate was willing to kill our best chance of avoiding climate disaster, simply for deny the administration a victory Biden.

The good news is that the law was passed despite his spite.

And the world is a more hopeful place than it was a few weeks ago.

c.2022 The New York Times Company

Source: Clarin

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