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States of Contention: The Biden Climate Package

Will the Biggest Fossil Fuel States Sabotage Biden’s Climate Package?

Texas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and California, among others, will drive its success or failure.




President Joe Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act in the State Dining Room of the White House on August 16. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Hailed by President Biden as “the most aggressive action ever to combat the climate crisis,” the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) commits $369 billion to clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction. But the IRA’s progress towards its ambitious goals and the larger fight to stave off the worst effects of climate change depends largely on its impact in key fossil fuel-producing states.

In California, the bill’s promise of good-paying green jobs could win over trade union opponents who have previously blocked some climate legislation. In both California and other states vital to the law’s implementation, however, the oil and gas industry will fight back.

In Texas, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, among the nation’s largest oil and gas producers, the powerful fossil fuel lobby and lax enforcement by state regulators could undermine the IRA’s provisions to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Capital & Main reporters Aaron Cantú, Jerry Redfern, Audrey Carleton and Elliott Woods report from California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas to examine the potential impact and pitfalls of the new law.

Copyright 2022 Capital & Main

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