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Why The Inflation Reduction Act Is Less A ‘Climate Bill’ and More a Poison Pill for Black and Indigenous Communities and Movements

Anthony Rogers-Wright

This, to me, is a fair inquiry. If a Republican introduced a piece of legislation that included opening up 600 million acres of oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico, dedicated billions of dollars to unproven “false climate solutions” like so called carbon capture and sequestration, extended the life of aging nuclear power plants, allowed for increased mining of uranium, and tied it to a commitment to ratify a separate, rubber stamped American Petroleum Institute (API) side deal that would deregulate landmark environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as the Clean Water Act, which have both acted as vanguards for historically marginalized environmental justice communities, would we still refer to it as a “historic climate bill?” One would hope that the answer would be emphatically, “Hell no!”  So, the question then becomes, why are historically white-led environmental groups, commonly referred to as “Big Green,” as well as far too many anointed climate “thought leaders,” renowned climate writers, and liberal media outlets assigning terms to the IRA such as “climate bill,” and “a win for environmental justice?”