By the end of today, Congress will likely pass the largest climate bill in U.S. history.
This newsletter has already covered the bill’s main goals and the story behind how it was put together. Today, I would like to go into more detail and explain how it can help people and businesses abandon dirty energy that contributes to global warming.
The bill’s climate clause is mostly a collection of subsidies for carbon-free energy, such as solar, wind and nuclear. Without these subsidies, polluting fossil fuels are often still cheap. Subsidies try to give the edge to cleaner energy.
“This is no hyperbole,” says Jesse Jenkins, a climate policy expert at Princeton University. “This really changes everything.” It will shift the energy.”
For consumers, the subsidy will lower the price of electric vehicles, solar panels, heat pumps and other energy efficient home improvements. You can claim the subsidy through your tax return. As a separate rebate for not filing taxes. Or, in some cases, immediately after purchase.
For example, let’s say you want to buy a cheap new electric car on the market today with a price tag of about $40,000. To receive the subsidy, you must first verify that your vehicle is eligible. The bill, among other things, requires vehicles to be assembled in North America. (Check with your auto dealer or manufacturer.) Next, make sure you are eligible. For example, an individual taxpayer cannot exceed $150,000 annually. Also, due to high demand, you may have to order your car well in advance.
If you meet the requirements, you can claim a tax credit of up to $7,500. So a $40,000 vehicle is effectively $32,500.
That’s the new car tax credit. There is a tax credit of up to $4,000 for used vehicles. The purpose of both credits is to level the playing field. Cars that burn fossil fuels are generally still cheaper than electric cars. With credit, the price of an electric car will be much closer, if not cheaper, than a similar non-electric car.
For home renovations, the process is different, but the basic idea is similar. For a typical $20,000 rooftop solar installation, tax credits reduce the price by up to $6,000. There are also subsidies for heat pumps, electric stoves and other energy efficiency projects. All these changes are expected to make it more affordable for everyday Americans, leading to less dependence on fossil fuels and expanding markets for cleaner energy.
The bill also includes many benefits for businesses. For example, you can claim credits to replace your conventional car with an electric car, saving as much as 30% on the cost of each vehicle.
Another set of incentives encourages companies to build and use cleaner energy. Similar credits have existed in the past, but they often expired in a year or two, resulting in unpredictable boom-bust cycles for investors and businesses. This time, Congress has established at least a 10-year credit to help provide greater certainty. The credit will also apply for the first time to public utilities and nonprofits, which are the majority of U.S. electric utilities.
The bill contains a compromise. We need to lease more federal land and water for oil and gas projects. Senator Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, called for the provision.
However, experts say there will be only a small impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the bill would offset at least 24 tonnes of carbon emissions for each tonne of emissions added by oil and gas supplies. energy innovation,think tank.
“It’s a trade-off,” Coral Davenport, a colleague in charge of energy and environmental policy, told me. “But in terms of impact on emissions, it’s a good thing.”
The bill will make cleaner energy and electric cars much cheaper for many Americans. Over time, increased competition and innovation in the United States will bring cheaper and better products that can be shipped worldwide, so it may become affordable in other countries as well.
And America will be closer to President Biden’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to half of their peak levels by 2030, according to three independent analyzes.
The bill also signals that the United States is beginning to take climate change seriously. This increases credibility by encouraging US diplomats to ask other countries, such as China and India, to do the same.
Still, many scientists believe the United States ultimately needs to do more to prevent severe damage from climate change. “This bill is just the beginning,” said Leah Stokes, a climate policy expert at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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the power of hugs
A common motif in Japanese animation is the hug. Two characters hug and collide, often falling through the air. An essay by Times critic Maya Phillips explains how hugging became an important part of the art form.
Anime is characterized by exaggerated character, design, and action, but tends to be understated in its portrayal of romance. A dramatic hug hits both criteria, she writes.
Read on for an essay that visualizes many of anime’s iconic hugs.