Padilla Statement on Anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), which was signed into law by President Biden one year ago today:

“One year since President Biden and Democrats in Congress passed the most ambitious climate investment in history, California has continued to lead the way with bold climate action that will dramatically reduce emissions, lower energy costs for working families, and improve air quality in disadvantaged communities.

“Middle- and low-income Californians are taking advantage of IRA tax credits to purchase clean vehicles — with over 1.5 million electric vehicle sales in California almost two years ahead of schedule. Communities have billions in IRA investments on the way to address catastrophic wildfires and historic drought in the West, with priority given to the Colorado River Basin and inland water bodies like the Salton Sea. And families are seeing the cost of life-saving medications lowered and the American Rescue Plan’s Affordable Care Act premium subsidies extended — preventing nearly one million low-income Californians’ premium costs from doubling. And we are funding these efforts by requiring billion-dollar corporations to finally pay their fair share in taxes. Thanks to the IRA, one year later we are celebrating reduced costs for working families and historic climate and health care investments in America.

“This is why the American people sent us to Congress — and why we will continue working to build on this historic progress — so that Californians have more money in their pockets, cleaner air to breathe, and a healthier future ahead.” 

By investing approximately $369 billion over 10 years in energy security, environmental justice, and climate change programs, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will lower carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. The bill has already bolstered California’s agriculture, forest health, clean vehicle affordability, and coastal resilience.

For fiscal year 2023, California received nearly $20 million in IRA funding — including $6.8 million for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, $5.2 million for the Conservation Stewardship Program, and $7.6 million for the Conservation Technical Assistance Program — to implement climate-smart agricultural techniques and to improve forest health and wildfire resiliency. Middle- and low-income Californians are benefitting from clean vehicle tax credits in the IRA, which provide a $4,000 credit for used clean vehicles and $7,500 for new ones. Furthermore, National Marine Sanctuaries in Monterey Bay, the Greater Farallones, and Cordell Bank secured a combined $9 million from the IRA through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to promote coastland conservation and research.

These measures have also created good-paying, green economy jobs. In addition, the legislation has prevented 220,000 Californians from losing their health and capped insulin prices at $35 per month for California’s 6.6 million Medicare beneficiaries. It also allows Medicare to negotiate down drug costs, making health care more affordable for families across the state.

The Inflation Reduction Act was funded by requiring large, profitable corporations to finally pay their fair share in taxes. There are no new taxes in the bill on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses.

Last December, Senator Padilla led a letter alongside U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other Western U.S. Senators to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pushing the United States Department of Agriculture to use its mandate from the Inflation Reduction Act to address drought-related issues.

A California one-pager on the Inflation Reduction Act is available here.

For full text of the bill, click here.