Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a coalition of 11 states in calling on Congress to protect important programs created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) from harmful budget cuts.
In August 2022, President Biden signed into law the IRA, the nation’s largest-ever investment in addressing climate change. The IRA directs hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide toward climate solutions, providing significant incentives for clean energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicle programs and more.
“The people of Illinois and around the country cannot afford the impact of unchecked climate change,” Raoul said. “The Inflation Reduction Act must be funded to make critical strides toward an equitable clean energy economy and stop the worst effects of the climate crisis. I am committed to protecting Illinois communities from the devastating effects of climate change.”
In their comment letter, Raoul and the attorneys general urge Congress to reject proposed budget cuts because they threaten the IRA’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create environmentally friendly jobs. Proposed cuts could rescind over $20 billion authorized by the IRA.
The multistate coalition opposes cuts to programs that will, among other things, help small rural businesses and agricultural producers convert to renewable energy and make energy cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable for Americans living in rural areas. These programs will spur economic opportunity in disadvantaged communities and help low- to moderate-income families transition to cleaner homes and appliances.
Proposed cuts to various federal agencies’ budgets, including the Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, Treasury, and the Department of Labor, could also hinder the effective roll-out of these and other programs under the IRA.
Funding to implement the IRA is important to ensure that the progress made on climate goals benefits—and does not further burden—disadvantaged and low wealth communities. Many of the states in the coalition, including Illinois, have previously advocated in support of the effective implementation of this groundbreaking law and its promise of an equitable transition away from fossil fuels.
Joining Raoul in filing the comment letter are attorneys general of Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.