The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), joined by more than 40 representatives of free-market oriented and conservative groups, sent a letter to Congress today calling for repeal of the harmful energy and environment provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Delivered to Congress on the first anniversary of the IRA’s enactment on August 16, 2022, the letter points out that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the law’s “green” subsidies to cost $391 billion, but more recent analysis shows the total costs could be as high as $1.2 trillion. The letter references the House Ways and Means Committee’s explanation for the differing estimates: “[T]he main reason for the massive price tag jump is that the taxpayer-funded subsidies for green energy are being claimed by large corporations, foreign competitors, and wealthy taxpayers at a much higher rate than anticipated.”
The coalition writes:
- This cronyism and irresponsible spending are reason enough to dismantle the subsidies. Yet they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the IRA’s problems. Even more alarming are the IRA’s provisions empowering the government to transform how energy is produced and used in this country. Americans shouldn’t have to worry about whether their lights will turn on when they flick the switch. Yet this is what will happen as the government seeks to force a shift away from reliable sources of electricity and towards unreliable sources. Nor should Americans have to deal with the artificially-inflated energy prices that will be the inevitable result.
- The heavy-handedness of the law doesn’t stop there. It presumes that the government should limit what kinds of cars Americans can buy and the types of appliances they can use. The push for electric vehicles (EVs) is especially illuminating. Most Americans don’t want to buy EVs, and for good reason, based on their high costs and long charging times, among other problems. Yet this apparently doesn’t matter, nor do the genuine national security concerns from relying on countries like China for the minerals needed to produce EV batteries.
The coalition also points out a problem that even IRA proponents should be concerned about. Congress passed the “green” subsidies as voluntary incentives in achieving its objectives, but now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ignoring the will of Congress and using the IRA subsidies as legal justification for harmful regulations.