WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the U.S. Senate have announced an agreement to move forward on a budget bill that includes $369 billion in climate and energy policies.
Consumer Reports said, if passed, the bill would be one of the nation’s most significant climate laws, and it would represent a win for both consumers and the environment.
Included in the bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, are important tax provisions for clean vehicles such as electric vehicles (EVs), including a $4,000 credit for used cars and up to $7,500 for new cars manufactured in North America. These tax credits would mean significant savings for consumers and enable more consumers to purchase EVs. Consumer Reports has found electric vehicles are less expensive to own and operate, saving consumers $6,000 to $10,000 over the life of the car.
The bill provides funding for technology to help reduce greenhouse gasses in low-income and disadvantaged communities. This funding could be used for publicly-available EV charging infrastructure. This infrastructure is important in helping ensure all Americans can charge their vehicles where they live, work and play. Other important equity provisions include investments to reduce air pollution at ports whose surrounding communities are disproportionately low-income communities and communities of color.
The bill would help address issues and concerns raised by consumers in a recent nationally-representative CR survey, in which 36% of Americans said they would “definitely” or “seriously consider” getting an EV for their next vehicle if they were to purchase or lease one today. 53% of Americans said tax rebates or discounts at the time of purchase would encourage them to get an EV. Respondents said the biggest barriers to getting an EV were concerns about when and where to charge the vehicle, how far the car can go on a charge, and the costs involved with buying, owning, and maintaining an EV.
The bill would also boost investments in low carbon fuels like sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional fuels. CR’s survey found 33% of Americans say they would be “very likely” to choose a flight on a plane that uses low carbon fuel,and 67% of Americans would use low carbon fuels in their vehicle if the cost per gallon was the same as the cost for traditional fuels. Plus, the bill includes a green hydrogen policy that helps diversify the fuel market.
Consumer Reports is encouraged by the introduction of this legislation, as it represents a big step toward addressing climate issues, alongside the ongoing efforts by federal regulators to improve automobile fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
Contact: David Butler, firstname.lastname@example.org