Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Wins that will come from the Inflation Reduction Act – Shaw Local

I could find no source listing the United States as the country with the cleanest air. The best I could find us ranked was 10th. No source listed Cheyenne, Wyoming, or Farmington, New Mexico, as having the cleanest air of any city. A recent letter writer did list the benefits of clean air to our health. Before the Clean Air Act became law in 1970, the US was one of the worst. Even today, air pollution is a serious health and economic problem. A 2019 study by the National Academy of Sciences stated “More than 100,000 Americans each year die of heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses caused by air pollution.” The cost to Americans was “some $886 billion a year – on the health impacts caused by air pollution.” A series of legislative bills have moved us from one of the worst countries for air pollution to, well, better. So the Inflation Reduction Act not only decreases the deficit, it is a win in a variety of ways.

1. Economically, it is a win. Because coal is finite, supply will always diminish. Renewable energy like the sun will be consistent and therefore cheaper, especially when we commit to it. The new bill offers incentives to make the transition easier on business and consumers.

2. Our air, which has gotten better since government legislation started in the 1970s, will only get better with renewable energy. Health gets better and medical costs go down.

3. The Climate Change bill offers carrots and sticks to decrease our carbon footprint, again benefiting our health, environment, and economy.

Thanks to Congress (no Republican voted for the bill).

Jeff Varda


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