What New Climate Laws Could Mean for Texas
The recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has created a historic opportunity to speed up the just transition to clean energy, create millions of good jobs, and build healthy, thriving communities across the US.
This is especially true in Texas, where funding from the new laws has the potential to fix aging infrastructure and lift the state up as a model of a just transition to cleaner energy sources. But it’s not going to happen on its own.
Passage was just the first step. Although the IRA and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law aren’t perfect, they are a critical step forward for our country and our planet. Now we must turn the laws’ potential into investments that slash emissions, empower communities, fight climate and environmental injustices, and put millions to work.
With billions available, Texans can lead the charge toward the net-zero future we need to assure the worst impacts of the climate crisis never come to pass.
Cleaner Energy Now
Texas is a large and expansive state with incredible potential for both solar and wind energy. Good thing then that the IRA offers numerous rebates, tax credits, and grant opportunities to electrify our lives and communities and improve our homes using clean energies.
The legislation offers tax credits to cover as much as 30% of the costs to install solar panels and battery storage systems in homes across the Lone Star State. Similarly, community solar projects will see as much as a 30% credit.
The IRA is also here to help Texans who are ready to make the switch to electric vehicles.
With upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and $4,000 for used EVs, the legislation helps make these newer, cleaner technologies available to all – all the while saving even more money on gas and other expenses down the line.
And the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is tasked with helping to install a network of charging stations for these new electric vehicles.
“Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Texas would expect to receive $408 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state,” according to the White House. “Texas will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.”
New and Improved Roadways
Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Texans can expect to receive as much as $26.9 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $537 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years. That’s great news, because the state has 818 bridges and over 19,400 miles of highway in dire need of repair.
The state should also expect to receive $3.3 billion over five years under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve public transportation options.
Texas is already the top state in the country for wind energy production, and investments from the IRA will help the state build out its clean energy sector even further.
The law provides a historic set of tax credits to create jobs across solar, wind, storage, and other clean energy industries.
“In 2021, there were already 238,884 Texas workers employed in clean energy jobs,” the White House reports. “The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, bringing an estimated $66.5 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Texas between now and 2030.”
All of this means jobs. Lots of them. Good paying jobs too. The credits in the bill include bonuses for businesses that pay a prevailing wage!
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Navigating the ins and outs of federal laws, funding opportunities, and requirements can be daunting – even for those with experience with the process. So if you’re ready to stand up for Texas and make sure the state and your community take full advantage of these new climate laws, you should join us this April for Power Up: From Acts to Action.
Power Up: From Acts to Action offers individuals, business owners, state and local office holders, community leaders, and grassroots advocates the chance to learn from former Vice President Al Gore and field-leading experts how to take advantage of the IRA and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Join us to learn what it takes to get the funding you need, manage reporting requirements, and use these new laws to make life better for families and neighborhoods in your state. Register today!