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Environmental group hopeful Inflation Reduction Act will speed up clean energy transitions already underway in Wisconsin


The Inflation Reduction Act invests an estimated $369 billion towards energy security and climate change. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.

While it’s not yet known what that investment will exactly look like in Wisconsin, Wisconsin’s Green Fire executive director Fred Clark is hopeful it will tackle some of the state’s larger climate-centered issued.

In the Northwoods, he’d like to see greater investments into the forestland.

“Investments in maintain forests and maintain working forests, increasing tree planting and reforestation, but also helping secure markets for forest carbon. All things are going to help maintain a productive forest resource that has huge multiple benefits,” said Clark.

Another priority for Clark includes investments into communities most at risk, especially when it comes to things like poor air quality.

There will also be opportunities to support people wanting to make sustainable changes in the personal lives and for business owners.

Clark says this bill will speed up transitions already happening.

“Across the board there are very significant tax incentives or investments in loans or lending that will stimulate transition around all these areas in our economy that will all contribute to reducing the effects of climate change and helping the United States come closer to our goals around the Paris Climate Accords,” said Clark.

While Clark is excited about the changes that he believes will lead to a more sustainable and healthy state, Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin is also looking forward to Wisconsin’s role in helping the country as a whole meet its carbon emissions goal.

She pointed Wisconsin and the Midwest’s ability to produce large quantities of biofuels. Baldwin says incorporating more biofuels into auto fuel will be key in the transition to electric vehicles.

“So long as we have liquid fuels and not all our vehicles are electric vehicles which is a longtime coming. We’ll get to the point where more and more of them are, but in the meantime the Midwest and Wisconsin in particular has a very powerful role to play. We are capable of producing as much biofuels as we cut off when we cut off Russian imports because of their invasion of Ukraine,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin and Clark are hopeful for what the Inflation Reduction Act will be able to accomplish in reducing emissions.

But Clark knows it can’t stop there.

“I think everyone should be hopeful to see that Government can actually take steps to solve our biggest problems and this bill helps do that. It doesn’t solve the climate crisis, however. The effects of climate change are being experienced right now around the world,” said Clark.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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