Ditch Fossil Fuels – The New York Times

By the end of the day, Congress will likely have passed the biggest climate bill in US history.

This newsletter has already covered the main objectives of the bill and the history of its development. Today I want to go into more detail and explain how this will help people and businesses ditch the dirty energy that contributes to global warming.

The bill’s climate provisions are primarily a set of subsidies for energy that does not emit carbon, such as solar, wind and nuclear power. Without these subsidies, polluting fossil fuels are often even cheaper. Subsidies attempt to give cleaner energy an edge.

“I’m not saying this as an exaggeration: it really changes everything,” said Jesse Jenkins, a climate policy expert at Princeton University. “It will effectively shift the financial record from dirty energy to clean energy for all.”

For consumers, the subsidies will reduce the prices of electric vehicles, solar panels, heat pumps and other home energy improvements. You can claim the grants through tax returns; as a separate refund if you do not file a tax return; or, in some cases, immediately when you make a purchase.

Let’s say you want to buy one of the cheapest new electric vehicles on the market right now, priced around $40,000. To get the subsidy, you must first make sure the car qualifies; the bill requires, among other things, that vehicles be assembled in North America. (Ask the dealership or automaker to find out.) Next, make sure you qualify; individual filers cannot earn more than $150,000 per year, for example. And, given the high demand, you may need to order a car well in advance.

If you meet the conditions, you can claim up to $7,500 in tax credits, bringing the price of a vehicle from $40,000 to $32,500.

It’s the new car tax credit. For used cars, there will be a smaller tax credit of up to $4,000. The goal of both credits is to level the playing field: cars that burn fossil fuels are still generally cheaper than electric vehicles. With the credits, electric cars will be much closer in price, if not cheaper, than similar non-electric vehicles.

For home renovations, the process will be different, but the basic idea is similar. For a typical $20,000 rooftop solar installation, tax credits will reduce the price by up to $6,000. There are also grants for heat pumps, electric cookers and other energy efficiency projects. The hope is to make all of these changes much more affordable for ordinary Americans, leading to less reliance on fossil fuels and expanding the market for cleaner energy.

The bill also includes a host of benefits for businesses. For example, they will be able to claim credits to replace traditional cars with electric cars, saving up to 30% on the cost of each vehicle.

Another set of incentives will encourage companies to build and use cleaner energy. Similar credits have existed in the past, but they often expired after one or two years, leading to unpredictable boom and bust cycles for investors and businesses. This time, Congress sets the appropriations for at least a decade, helping to create more certainty. And the credits will apply for the first time to utilities and nonprofits, a large segment of U.S. electricity providers.

The bill includes a compromise: it requires more leasing of federal lands and waters for oil and gas projects. Senator Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, called for this provision.

But experts say it will only have a modest impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the bill will subtract at least 24 tonnes of carbon emissions for every tonne of emissions added by the oil and gas provision, according to Energy Innovation, a think tank.

“It’s a compromise,” my colleague Coral Davenport, who covers energy and environmental policy, told me. “But in terms of the impact on emissions, it’s a good deal.”

The bill will make cleaner energy and electric vehicles much cheaper for many Americans. Over time, it will also likely make them more affordable to the rest of the world, as more competition and innovation in the US leads to cheaper, higher quality products that can be shipped around the world.

And it will bring America closer to President Biden’s goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, according to three independent analyses.

The bill is also a sign that the United States is starting to take climate change seriously. It will give American diplomats more credibility as they call on other countries, like China and India, to do the same.

Yet many scientists believe the United States will eventually have to do more to prevent serious damage from climate change. “This bill is really just the beginning,” said Leah Stokes, a climate policy expert at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

A beef within a sports department: Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari wants a flashy new practice facility. And he wants it as soon as possible – because he works at a “basketball school”. Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops would disagree. A classic SEC feud.

A common motif in Japanese animation is the hug – two characters collide in an embrace, often falling through the air. An essay by Times critic Maya Phillips explains how hugs became such an important part of the art form.

The anime is characterized by exaggeration, in its characters, design, and action, but it tends to be timid in its depictions of romance. The dramatic embrace meets both criteria, she writes: “An embrace between lovers, family, or friends is an expression of intimacy that anime can magnify.”

Read the essay, which visualizes many of the anime’s iconic hugs.

About Christopher Easley

Check Also

Ecuadorian president seeks ‘balance’ between US and China

Ecuador’s interests are best served by “balanced” relations with the world’s two superpowers, President Guillermo …