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Commentary: Let’s make sure Minnesota benefits from inflation act

The following is a commentary for the Opinion page submitted by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.

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By Drew Everly and Jeanne Johnson

The Inflation Reduction Act has been a source of much discussion ever since President Biden signed it into law.

But whether our feelings about this partisan bill are positive or negative, the money has been allocated, and we should make sure that money works for Minnesota.

The act combines programs, fees, and tax credits to increase the speed at which the U.S. adopts clean energy including solar, wind, nuclear, and hydrogen. It will give Americans rebates covering 50% to 100% of the cost of installing new, energy-saving home electric appliances, such as heat pumps, water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves, and ovens, as well as a 30% rooftop solar tax credit to lower utility bills.

Even without the rebates and credits, American households will save $170 to $220 per year by 2030 thanks to lower electricity costs. The funding for clean domestic energy will also decrease the burden on American taxpayers to subsidize fossil fuel costs or the deployment of our military to protect global trade routes around foreign oil production.

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Farmers and ranchers, who can implement important climate solutions, but often can’t afford to pay for investments out of pocket, will get money for conservation. The cash will finance projects to help store carbon in soil and trees, reduce methane, and switch to sustainable fertilizer and crop rotation methods. Meanwhile, foresters will benefit from funds for forest health and resilience as well as incentives to maximize the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the air.

And as the American Nuclear Society has stated , the IRA provisions for nuclear energy will “help preserve the existing nuclear fleet, and scale-up new and advanced reactors leading to tens of thousands of American jobs.”

But, while we reduce pollution in the U.S., other countries continue to release heat-trapping gasses into the air which warms the planet for all of us.

One way to increase responsibility elsewhere is to impose a fee on imported products from nations that release more pollution in their manufacturing process. The E.U. is rapidly moving forward with a carbon fee which will force countries trading with it to produce products with a lower carbon footprint or pay a fee and we can do the same.

Now it falls to Republicans and Democrats to work together to hold other countries accountable. As the new Congress approaches, we urge Representative Michelle Fischbach to support federal policy that does just that. We need to send a firm message to China and other big polluters—if you don’t follow our lead, you’ll pay to do business.

And let’s make sure Alexandria, Douglas County and the state take full advantage of all that this legislation makes available.

Drew Everly is Conservative Outreach Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Jeanne Johnson is past leader of the Alexandria Citizens Climate Lobby and a member of the Citizens for a Sustainable Future.

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The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to aedenloff@echopress.com or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to aedenloff@echopress.com or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to aedenloff@echopress.com or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to aedenloff@echopress.com or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.