ANN ARBOR, MICH. (July 29, 2022)—The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is pleased to see climate legislation moving forward by way of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. At a regional level, this legislation would support Great Lakes restoration and protection, as well as help communities in the eight-state region prepare for, and adapt to, the threat of climate impacts, such as increased flooding, excessive heat and cold, and runoff pollution.

“This bill will help ensure an expeditious transition towards a better, more resilient future that protects our environment and our communities,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Investing in the communities most impacted by pollution and climate change can put people to work, set the stage for economic revitalization in our towns and cities, and ensure the long-term health of our communities and the Great Lakes we all rely on. We encourage the Senate and House to pass this bill without delay.”

The total package size of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is $369 billion. Important line items within this include:

  • Climate pieces:
    • $60 billion to boost domestic clean energy manufacturing
    • $30 billion in production tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and critical mineral processing
    • $30 billion for grants and loans for states and utilities to advance the clean energy transition
  • $60 billion total in targeted funding for environmental justice communities
  • $2.6 billion for Investing in Coastal Communities and Climate Resilience
  • $390 million for NOAA Climate, Forecasting, and Oceans Science
  • $23 billion for Agricultural Conservation Investments and Technical Assistance
  • $3 billion for Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants
  • Over $120 billion to advance a clean energy transition

Comprehensive legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act is essential to confront the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and bolster resilience and natural infrastructure solutions in coastal restoration, forest management, and soil conservation. Federal investments to restore and protect the Great Lakes have been producing results for over a decade, yet serious threats remain and are being exacerbated by climate change, making them worse and more expensive to solve.

The Great Lakes region – like our nation – faces a web of compounding crises impacting the health of people and communities. The region has seen the direct result of underinvestment in community resilience and a lack of action on climate change, as communities face disastrous impacts from flooding, extreme weather, and heat waves. With climate change pushing our current infrastructure past its limits, the time to act is now.

Investing in climate action not only protects our Great Lakes ecosystem and public health but improves the resiliency of our communities and creates good-paying, local jobs. There are many examples of communities across the region acting to adapt to climate impacts, from the restoration of habitat that absorbs stormwater to prevent flooding to farm conservation actions that prevent animal waste and fertilizer from polluting local drinking waters. Now is the time to support these actions at a much larger scale, commensurate with the climate crisis before us.