Republican debt ceiling bill guts clean energy in Inflation Reduction Act


A bill proposed by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) proposes to raise the national debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion and promises to slash federal spending by $4.5 trillion. 

The “Limit, Save, Grow Act” would make cuts to renewable energy spending while supporting domestic oil and gas production. Provisions within the bill would gut the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes nearly $400 billion in federal spending to support the energy transition. 

The bill proposes to revert discretionary spending caps to fiscal 2022 levels while limiting growth to 1% annually over the next decade.  

President Biden has expressed no interest in negotiating with McCarthy on the bill. Instead, Biden said he would negotiate on a “clean” debt limit increase that is decoupled from other policy measures. 

The bill seeks to repeal “market distorting green tax credits,” slashing credits for solar, wind, electric vehicles, energy storage, and more. It would repeal the Production Tax Credit, the Investment Tax Credit, and other core IRA provisions. 

Since the IRA passed, over $150 billion in private investments in the U.S. clean energy economy have been announced, said the American Clean Power Association (ACP). This unprecedented level of investment exceeds the total investment in utility-scale clean power projects brought online in the five previous years combined, spanning 2017 to 2021.  

The IRA has already spurred 46 utility-scale clean energy manufacturing facility announcements, adding an estimated 18,000 or more U.S. jobs in eight short months. 

“The American Clean Power Association is interested in working with Republicans and Democrats on permitting reform, energy security, and the real challenges facing the energy sector and our economy. Congress should not waste time or energy on political messaging bills that do not advance the national interest,” said Jason Grumet, chief executive officer, ACP. 

While the House has a Republican majority, the bill is considered unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. Biden also has the ability to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. The Hill said the bill is considered a Republican wish-list and an attempt to bring Biden to the table for negotiation.

Advanced Energy United said the Inflation Reduction Act may lead to $4.4 billion in consumer savings, while moving the U.S. away from volatile fossil fuel prices and combating inflation. 

“Rolling back the IRA now would undercut long term efforts to improve America’s fiscal health. We would urge Congressional lawmakers to pass a clean debt-limit increase and refocus on forging bipartisan, bicameral legislation that reforms permitting for critical mineral production, transmission, and advanced energy projects, further expanding our economy and strengthening U.S. energy independence,” said Harry Godfrey, managing director, Advanced Energy United. 

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