Environmental Policy Groups Submit Comments to Treasury Department on Meeting Commitments with IRA Tax Credits
WASHINGTON – Environmental policy groups including Friends of the Earth, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and Partnership for Policy Integrity, submitted joint comments to the Department of the Treasury regarding implementation of the new clean energy tax credits created under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The comments demand that the new system of technology neutral tax credits beginning in 2025 must exclude harmful energies like woody biomass, waste incineration, and landfill gas – which do not meet the zero emission requirement established under the IRA and put Biden’s Justice40 commitment in jeopardy.
“Combustion-based energy production like woody biomass and waste incineration are simply not renewables,” said Sarah Lutz, Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S., “The Biden Administration has a real opportunity to lower emissions and reduce harm in overburdened communities, but it all comes down to implementation. In this instance, the Treasury has a responsibility to help ensure that false climate solutions are rightfully left behind.”
“The new production tax credit, if properly implemented, will realign energy incentives to support those that truly offer a climate benefit, rather than continuing to perversely incentivize technologies like trash incinerators and wood-burning power plants, which are more polluting than coal,” said Laura Haight, US Policy Director at Partnership for Policy Integrity.
“Pursuing Justice40 and commitments to reduce the burden of toxic and climate pollution means ending tax credits for burning waste and biomass. We call on the Treasury Department to ensure that truly renewable forms of energy receive support now – there is no time to wait for climate action,” says Monica Wilson, Associate Director of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
“Simply by measuring lifecycle emissions accurately and on a climate-relevant timeline, the Biden administration has an opportunity to protect frontline communities from billions in new subsidies for false solutions,” the comments read, “Blocking these facilities from claiming tax credits will lower emissions, reduce harm in overburdened communities, and protect the integrity of President Biden’s Justice40 commitment.”
The groups also issued the following further recommendations:
- Measure full lifecycle emissions of different energies, including significant indirect emissions, on a climate-relevant timeline, such as the Biden Administration’s commitment to 2035 energy sector decarbonization.
- Set the baseline for measuring lifecycle emissions reductions against alternative practices that offer the greatest potential climate and justice benefits.
- Commit to complete transparency in data collection and publication, including the use of disaggregated data.