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This Week in Freudenfreude: Things Have Changed

The final version of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed by Congress on August 12 of last year, and was signed into law on August 16. Inflation has been reduced, but it's hard to say what role (if any) the legislation had. However, rather more clear is the impact of the federal investment in the environment. Just about a year out, it is working out nicely. In the last year:

Between the IRA and the infrastructure bill, it's now projected that the U.S. will be able to reduce emissions by 37-41% below 2005 levels by 2030. That's less than the 50% promise the U.S. made in the Paris Agreement, but it's not too far off and Rome wasn't built in a day. There's still time to drive that figure up.

And that brings us to what might be the most important development of all. The biggest solar company, as noted, is in Ohio. The state that added the most solar capture infrastructure is Florida. A lot of the rare-earth mining is happening in Texas. The first nuclear power plant to go online in 7 years just did so in Georgia. In short, a lot of the money and jobs are flowing to red states and counties. That, plus the unmistakable signs of climate change, might be enough to change Republicans' tune on green investment, regardless of what Donald Trump thinks. In fact, in some cases, it already has. And so, although the planet is teetering on the brink of disaster, there's at least some reason for hope that the worst might be avoided, and that Congress might soon be able to have a meeting of the minds on this issue. Not this month or this year, mind you, but soon. After all, the President doesn't need all the Republicans on his side; he just needs 10-20% of them.

Have a good weekend, all! (Z)

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