The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Biden’s Environmental Bill

Aug 1, 2022

Top Democrats, including Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Manchin, took a chance to crow over their so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” once it looked like they had a deal last week. Senator Schumer called it "the greatest pro-climate legislation that has ever been passed by Congress." The bill does include 369 billion dollars in spending on clean energy technology over the next decade.

But how will this money be spent? They are continuing tax credits for people who buy electric vehicles, for one. Electric vehicles start at over $30,000 for a new one—so few working people will be able to benefit from the credits. Of course, the tax credit will help the different auto companies move cars. Added to that, there’s a provision that the Postal Service will buy 3 billion dollars worth of electric vans, again a handout to the auto companies. There’s also two billion dollars in grants for auto manufacturers to upgrade their factories.

Companies that produce solar panels, wind turbines and batteries—"clean energy"—can take advantage of tens of billions in tax credits. And then Manchin held out for a few sops to be thrown in the direction of his favorite fossil fuel companies.

This is how they do it: handing money in various ways to the companies—paid with our tax money. In other words, they are making the working class bear the cost of any “green transition.”

Climate Change is a serious issue—we see it with the heat waves, wildfires, and floods as they become more and more common here and around the world. The Democrats say, and the media repeat, that this is the biggest package put toward climate change yet. That may be. 369 billion dollars sounds like a lot, but this money is to be spent over 10 years—about 37 billion each year. That is peanuts next to the 850 billion this country spent on the military just this year. It shows exactly how seriously the ruling class takes the climate crisis.