How State and Local Leaders Leverage Inflation Reduction Act for a Cleaner, Safer Future

Climate Cabinet Education, the go-to resource for state and local climate policy, released the following backgrounder to the media that highlights how state and local leaders are leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) historic climate investments – an effort that has created more than 170,000 clean energy jobs in 44 states


As the media continues to share how the Biden Administration’s climate law is delivering new jobs, cutting utility costs for families, and lowering pollution rates, this background document is intended to spotlight specific examples about how the law is fighting the climate crisis in all areas of the nation. This includes in rural, suburban, and urban communities and for areas perceived as conservative and progressive. 


Take a look at how policymakers are leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act: 


ARIZONA: Arizona Office of Resiliency

Project: When Governor Katie Hobbs took office, one of her first directives was to create the Office of Resiliency, a state energy office necessary to unlock millions in Inflation Reduction Act and other federal program funding. While originally the office just consisted of the Director and energy, land use, and water policy advisors, unlocked federal funding has allowed the office to hire an additional six full-time employees working to implement Inflation Reduction Act programs promoting clean energy infrastructure, electric appliances, energy efficiency, and more. 


COLORADO: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Project: Mayor Yemi Mobolade leveraged IRA funds for a new solar cell plant. The solar cell production facility is getting $1.4 billion in IRA funding, creating 380 new jobs in Colorado Springs.


Mayor Yemi Mobolade: “Meyer Burger has stated that the fastest possible market entry is important. Don’t worry, we got you covered — our city’s rapid response service is ready for this project”


INDIANA

Project: AES is building an Indiana battery storage at a retired coal plant. The utility is using the site of their retiring coal plant for battery storage. The project, Pike County Energy Storage, will utilize the IRA’s Investment Tax Credit to cover an estimated 40% of the project cost. Local governments now have access to these same tax credits thanks to the IRA’s updated eligibility rules for Direct Pay. 


IOWA: Ames, Iowa

Project: The City of Ames published an analysis of their Climate Action Plan, predicting the Inflation Reduction Act would reduce the net cost of their Climate Action Plan—which invests in energy efficiency, building retrofits, battery storage, rooftop solar and EVs—from $900 million down to $300 million.


Graphic shows IRA savings for Ames Climate Action Plan implementation, by category. 

From City of Ames Climate Action Plan: Supplemental Input Committee on Implementation Report


KENTUCKY: Bowling Green, Kentucky

Project: Kentucky was one of four states in the country to refuse the Environmental Protection Agency’s $3 million grant for Climate Pollution Reduction projects, so the opportunity was then provided to Bowling Green—which qualified as the third largest community in the state. The City Council voted unanimously to pursue the funds. The City’s Public Works Department would be the recipient of the grant and is accepting input from their community for ways the funding could be used to lower pollution.


MINNESOTA: Minnesota Legislature

Project: Signed into law by Governor Tim Walz, The State Competitiveness Fund will use $156 million to help connect state, local, and tribal communities as well as electric cooperatives and utilities with non-federal matching dollars needed to access funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law. This increases total funding on the table and increases access to create clean energy projects throughout the state. 


WASHINGTON: Washington State Legislature

Project: House Bill 1777, a bill that allows energy saving projects at public schools to be funded by private entities which can leverage funds from the Inflation Reduction Act, was passed unanimously in the legislature, garnering support from Republicans and Progressive Dems alike. Schools typically spend a significant budget on utility bills.



Other Potential IRA Implementation Opportunities


Columbia, Missouri: Columbia, Missouri and its municipal utility – Columbia Water and Light –  are owners of a retired coal plant and ash pond site, which is eligible to receive loans under the IRA’s Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Financing. This, plus taking advantage of Direct Pay investment tax credits, gives Columbia a prime opportunity to invest in battery storage at their retired plant site with the help of federal funds. Read more about this opportunity on our blog!


Seattle and King County, Washington: These two government organizations have been partnering on a transit electrification project over the last few years, looking to convert the county’s bus fleets to electric vehicles. The project could be eligible for a number of the IRA’s tax credits and grants. More info on this partnership can be found on our blog.