Letter to the Editor: Congress was finally able to pass a much-needed climate bill | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Congress was finally able to pass a much-needed climate bill

Carl Ecklund

Finally, there was enough momentum in Congress to pass long-needed solutions for climate and energy issues. Our very own Sen. John Hickenlooper led the charge on this defining challenge of our time. He fought hard to strike a lasting deal solidified through congressional action and got the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 — meaningful climate action — over the finish line. 

Missing this opportunity would have meant losing one of the largest-ever investments in carbon-reducing technologies. Central to this package is a $370 billion suite of tax credits on renewable energy sources and electric vehicle manufacturing, which advance efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources and are projected to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030.

Citing inflation concerns, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Sen. Joe Manchin did not originally support this ambitious package. Proponents like Sen. Hickenlooper, however, successfully argued that such a policy would indeed mitigate the effects of inflation by reducing the cost of energy for families and businesses while building a pipeline of good-paying jobs in every state across numerous sectors and skill levels. 

Identifying such common ground will provide the basis for an attainable, long-lasting approach to tackling both climate change and high energy costs. Sen. Hickenlooper has a history of deal-making that balances various interests without compromising his role as a champion of sustainability efforts, especially evident during his time as governor. Throughout his leadership, the impetus for climate action grew in Colorado as he implemented new standards for low-emission vehicles, expanded the state’s renewable energy standard and created more than 10,000 clean-energy jobs. He did this by looking beyond party politics to get the job done. 

I have faith in the deal that Sen. Hickenlooper helped negotiate in Washington. This is the only way the U.S. will make the necessary transition towards sustainable and independent energy.

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