Hickenlooper: “This bill will be the largest climate rescue investment in the history of the world”
Denver, CO – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper joined climate advocates and clean energy leaders in Denver today for a press conference to highlight the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, an ambitious bill to lower energy costs, increase clean energy production, and reduce carbon emissions roughly 40 percent by 2030.
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“This bill will be the largest climate rescue investment in the history of the world,” said Hickenlooper. “We’re going to look back in fifty years and say this was the beginning of the great transition. We can fight inflation by transitioning to a new energy economy – less expensive energy in your home, less expensive commuter costs, less expensive costs of living.”
“This act is what our planet and communities need and deserve at a time of increasingly extreme weather and rising costs hurting families across our state and our country,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Conservation Colorado Climate Advocate. “It’s an investment in our future, a lifeline for our children and for communities trying to survive the climate impacts of today.”
“As families across the country battle with soaring gas prices, devastating extreme weather and inflation, this act will bring much-needed relief with billions of dollars dedicated to environmental justice, including reducing air pollution in urban communities while supporting rural communities,” said Patricia Ferrero, Protegete Leadership Development Manager. “We all deserve to breathe clean air and have healthy environments to live in. It is time for the Senate to pass this legislation.”
“Without [Senator Hickenlooper’s] perseverance and fortitude in helping to push this in the Senate, we wouldn’t be where we are today. As Governor Hickenlooper, he put us on the map by adopting the nation’s first ever pollution rules to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector,” said Matt Garrington, Senior Manager for State Campaigns, Environmental Defense Fund. “And now, again thanks to Senator Hickenlooper, he’s taken that leadership and helped deliver, hopefully soon, on major climate change action at the federal level.”
“As a company leading the country’s clean energy transition, we’re proud to join U.S. Senator Hickenlooper to recognize what would be an historic national investment in clean energy,” said Frank Prager, Senior Vice President for Strategy, Security and External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, Xcel Energy. “In Colorado, we’re on track to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 85% by 2030 as we add significant amounts of wind and solar to our system. We’ll use the clean energy tax credits in the bill to reduce costs for our customers as we continue investing in renewable energy and exploring advanced zero-emitting technologies to keep the grid strong and reliable.”
The event was at Dragonfly Noodle, whose owner Edwin Zoe has transitioned his small businesses to electric induction cooking appliances for energy savings and health. Other participants included Angelique Espinoza of Good Business Colorado, Sean Fox of Icelantic Skis, Andrew Bennett of Energy Outreach Colorado, and Jim Ramey of The Wilderness Society.
Climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act include:
- Over $100 billion in tax credits for clean energy generation and storage, as well as other clean technologies like EVs, clean hydrogen, and carbon capture.
- Broad reforms to our federal oil and gas leasing system, including Hickenlooper’s COMPETES Act, which ends the speculative practice of non-competitive leasing.
- Over $10 billion for home efficiency and electrification upgrades, which Hickenlooper fought for.
- Methane fee of $1,500/ton of leaked methane from oil and gas operations – equivalent to a $60/ton carbon fee on fugitive methane.
- Tens of billions of dollars in clean infrastructure and capacities, including solar, wind, and battery manufacturing, long-distance electrical transmission lines, and DOE Laboratory (incl. NREL) infrastructure.
- Tens of billions for environmental justice, including reducing air pollution in urban communities and supporting rural communities.
Hickenlooper has been credited with helping the deal coalesce by encouraging Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer to keep trying despite many giving up on any prospect of an ambitious climate bill this year.