Access to clean water and protection from extreme weather aren’t luxuries. They are a matter of survival, both today and for future generations. This is top of mind as Idaho faces blistering record-breaking temperatures and potential water shortages. But when it comes to addressing our changing climate, too many politicians have been content to kick the can down the road indefinitely. It is especially true in Idaho where the Republican supermajority has responded by ignoring and often denying the problem.
Fortunately, Democrats are acting on the truth that addressing climate change is necessary and goes hand-in-hand with building a thriving economy.
Last week was the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, a decisive move to build our economy out of its pandemic slump by growing jobs and raising wages. But it did much more, making the biggest strides in our nation’s history toward protecting our climate future. The legislation makes crucial investments to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen energy security while creating jobs — despite every Republican in Congress voting against it.
In the last decade, Idaho experienced 13 extreme weather events, costing billions in damages. As climate change drives harsher heat waves, more volatile weather, and record drought conditions, Idahoans feel the impacts: more costly utility bills, uncertainty for the agricultural sector that produces our food, and limitations on the time we can comfortably and safely spend outdoors.
The Inflation Reduction Act advances conservation solutions and climate resilience across Idaho. The law helps Idaho’s 25,000 farms deploy climate-smart practices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make their operations more productive. It makes it more affordable for Idahoans to purchase energy efficient appliances and make home repairs while helping families save on their utility bills. By supporting tree planting, it delivers shade and cooler temperatures to our communities. The Act also funds wildfire prevention, protecting life and property, lowering firefighting costs, and keeping our air clean.
These investments not only protect health and safety; they make good financial sense. Each dollar spent on preparedness today is worth $15 in mitigated future damage.
Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act expands the clean energy sector, bringing an estimated $320 million of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Idaho between now and 2030. A historic set of tax credits creates jobs across clean energy industries. These credits include bonuses for businesses that pay a prevailing wage so that Idaho workers earn a good paycheck as we build our energy independence.
The savings, jobs, and other benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act are already materializing across the nation and here in Idaho and will continue for generations to come. Democrats remain committed to building our sustainable future.
Idaho Democratic Party Chair