Rep. Rashida Tlaib, state, local officials highlight clean energy opportunities from federal funding
Schools, families, local governments stand to reap benefits from federal funding through Inflation Reduction Act
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, state lawmakers and community organizations gathered in Southfield Wednesday for a public education event to highlight climate, renewable energy, and jobs benefits available through the Inflation Reduction Act. The community discussion focused on the ways our schools and families can take advantage of the grant funding available to build a better, brighter and healthier future.
A full recording of the panel discussion can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HINf6moYHH0.
“The Inflation Reduction Act included historic funding to fight climate change that will create up to 9 million jobs in clean energy and reduce carbon emissions. I’m excited to join Michigan LCV and other public servants to talk about how we can utilize these federal resources here at home,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “This important work must go hand-in-hand with more legislative and executive action to save our planet and protect our frontline residents, including holding corporate polluters accountable, implementing cumulative impact analysis in permitting decisions, and fully transitioning to clean energy.”
The Inflation Reduction Act was passed in 2022 and is the largest clean energy investment the United States has ever made, allocating $369 billion across the country. The funds can be used for solar and wind farms, manufacturing batteries, electric vehicles, pollution reduction in environmental justice communities and a host of rebates and credits for increasing energy efficiency and electrifying homes, businesses and schools.
“We have an opportunity to invest in our communities to make our schools safer and more energy efficient while saving money – all made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Bentley Johnson, federal government affairs director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “We thank leaders in Congress, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and state and local officials for working to make sure Michiganders know about the opportunities from federal funding to save costs, upgrade their homes and businesses and transition to clean energy. We also must pass state level policies to boost clean energy and energy efficiency investments to fully maximize these funds from the Inflation Reduction Act.”
K-12 schools and local governments stand to benefit from new direct pay programs and additional grant funding to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric school buses. These funding opportunities include energy efficiency upgrade tax deductions, clean energy tax credits, clean energy investment tax credits to cover up to 70% of installation costs, electric school bus and charging station tax credits and clean school bus rebates and grants. More information can be found here.
“There are an estimated 177,000 kids across Michigan who suffer from asthma—one of them is my son. High air pollution days can mean asthma attacks, missed school days, and even trips to the hospital. But, thanks to pollution-cutting provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), my son will be able to breathe easier,” said Elizabeth Hauptman of Moms Clean Air Force. “The IRA investments are expected to significantly reduce air pollution, resulting in 100,000 fewer asthma attacks in the US in 2030. This is great news for families like mine, who can look forward to healthier days ahead.”
Local governments have the opportunity to directly receive funding to create renewable energy projects for their residents through initiatives like community solar. They also have the opportunity to receive grant awards for establishing new, efficient building codes to reduce carbon emissions in new construction projects, and to receive funding for air pollution monitoring systems.
“Thousands of Metro Detroit legacy residents are encumbered with asbestos, lead, mold, and carbon emitting appliances which can exacerbate health inequities. We must place as much importance on remediation of pollutants as we place on monitoring for them,” said Gary Ringer, with the Joy Southfield Community Development Corporation. “We look forward to exploring ways we can use funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to make our residents’ homes safer and healthier and more affordable, which will help protect our communities’ health and save money.”
State lawmakers in Lansing have proposed legislation that would enact a 100% carbon-free clean energy standard, boost energy efficiency and empower the Michigan Public Service Commission to hold utility companies accountable. According to a recent report by 5 Lakes Energy, passing this legislation would:
- Lower household energy costs by $145 a year by 2035, and $1,196 for efficient, electrified households
- Double the amount of investment Michigan will get from the Inflation Reduction Act
- Avoid nearly 1,000 premature deaths and save $8.3 billion in public health costs by 2050
- Create nearly 160,000 jobs by 2050