The IRA in Pennsylvania: 1 Year In

One year ago, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law. Since then, its historic climate and clean energy investments have invigorated clean energy economies in states across the country and taken major strides toward achieving America’s climate goals. And with the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative, a record amount of that funding is projected to make its way to disadvantaged communities who have faced historic disinvestment and disproportionate health impacts. Billions of dollars have already been funneled directly to local governments and states are introducing and passing clean energy policies at record pace to take full advantage of the IRA’s programs. 

In Pennsylvania, the clean energy economy is already bringing in millions of federal dollars from the IRA. According to Climate Power, the Commonwealth has already received $197.1 million in investments, creating over 400 jobs across the Commonwealth and allowing companies to expand operations to meet the growing demand for clean transportation and energy options. And with the vast majority of the Commonwealth being designated as an energy community, Pennsylvania is already reaping the benefits of bonus financial incentives. Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration has also stood up a new interagency team to maximize the funding Pennsylvania secures and made significant commitments regarding the implementation of key programs like the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants.  

But in order to take full advantage of the opportunity presented by the IRA, maintain economic competitiveness, lower household energy costs, and slash climate pollution in the state, Pennsylvania must remain in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—the regional cap-and-invest program aimed at curbing carbon pollution from the power sector. Modeling from Synapse Energy released earlier this year found the Commonwealth would forgo $930 million of additional investments from IRA tax credits and residents, businesses, and the industrial sector would miss out on an estimated $1.5 billion in energy cost savings if the state does not participate.

The IRA has provided Pennsylvania an incredible opportunity to keep money in Pennsylvanians’ pockets and funnel historic federal funding into local businesses and communities,” said Julia Kortrey, Evergreen Action deputy state policy director. “The IRA can help Pennsylvania meet Gov. Shapiro’s climate goals while maintaining economic competitiveness and growing the state’s economy. A prosperous, equitable clean energy future in the Commonwealth is possible—but it’s vital that no money is left on the table.”