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Limit, Save, Grow Act: Budgeting for a Clean Energy Future

Updated: Mar 25


The United States nearly hit jeopardy yet again. By June 1, the country was likely to hit the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling last set in 2021. With a fast-approaching deadline, Congress settled on negotiations either to raise the debt ceiling or default and run out of money.


The Republican-led House of Representatives demonstrated initiative on April 25 when Representative Jodey C. Arrington introduced H.R. 2811—the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023. At a glance, this bill’s main functions are to 1) increase the federal debt limit and 2) decrease federal spending. How is this a threat to climate policy?


The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 raises the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion. However, this is coupled with spending cuts, which translates into significant limits on tax credits. So, what does this have to do with climate policy? 


The Biden Administration passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022. There were several special interest green tax credits written into the legislation to incentivize the use of renewable energy for a range of entities—businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, and state, local, and tribal organizations.


Provisions in the IRA include but are not limited to the Clean Energy Production Tax Credit, Clean Energy Investment Tax Credit, and Environmental Justice Wind and Solar Capacity Limitations. What do these do? They try to reduce the cost of implementing renewable energy into several major operations.


On the other hand, the Limit, Save, Grow Act focuses on shrinking overall federal spending. In doing so, it holds back the progressive climate policy initiatives set forth by the IRA. Subsections (specifically Title III: “repeal market distorting green tax credits”) of this act directly attack the initiatives previously stated. 


However, the Senate eventually passed a separate piece of bipartisan legislation 63-36. 


The House tried to double back on some advances in climate policy while the nation was in a critically vulnerable state. As we budget for the upcoming fiscal year, we must acknowledge the need to prioritize investing in green energy. Climate change presents a global crisis that requires proactive and consistent efforts rather than compromising progress at the first available opportunity.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.


Sources


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Summary of Inflation Reduction Act Provisions Related to Renewable Energy." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/green-power-markets/summary-inflation-reduction-act-provisions-related-renewable-energy#:~:text=The%20Inflation%20Reduction%20Act%20of,of%20new%20clean%20electricity%20resources


Hulse, Carl. "Debt Ceiling Senate Vote: Live Updates." The New York Times, 1 June 2023, from https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/06/01/us/debt-ceiling-senate-vote


Congress.gov. "H.R.2811 - 118th Congress (2023-2024): H.R.2811 - Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023." Congress.gov, https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/house-bill/2811

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