Why are Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., so happy? For starters, Sunday’s Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. They spent time getting information out to the media on what is in the Act they supported. The legislation was authored by Wyden who is the Senate Finance Committee Chair. He ensured clean energy, prescription and drug pricing was in the legislation.
Residents want to know what’s in it for Portland. The historic legislation is touted as being able to facilitate the cutting of carbon emissions, lower prescription drug costs in Oregon and nationwide. It also adds federal funds to the fight against wildfires and drought
The Clean Energy for America Act would reduce carbon emissions in the power sector by about 70 percent over the next decade, and is the main driver of the overall 40 percent reduction in emissions achieved by the Inflation Reduction Act.
The Inflation Reduction Act also provides the following for Oregon and the country:
· More than $20 billion for farmers and ranchers to support climate-smart agriculture practices
· $14 billion for rural electric cooperatives in the state and country to make the transition to cleaner energy
· $5 billion to protect communities from wildfires by investing in projects on public and private lands, increase carbon sequestration, and reforestation
· More than $4 billion for drought mitigation
· $3 billion to EPA for grants to reduce air pollution at ports, which could benefit Oregon’s 23 ports.
“With temperatures today throughout Oregon near or topping 100 degrees, these investments in wildfire prevention, drought mitigation and supporting our state’s farmers and ranchers are timely and welcome news to fight the devastating impacts of the climate crisis in our state,” Wyden said.