Policy Update Aug 10, 2022

Position on H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act

NPCA submitted the following position to members of the House of Representatives ahead of an expected floor vote.

NPCA urges members to vote for the Senate amendment to H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Americans have been calling on Congress to address the climate crisis, and the House can answer by passing this bill. This historic legislation supports a clean energy future and prepares our parks and public lands for rising temperatures, changing sea levels and extreme storms.

The National Park Service (NPS) is charged with protecting and preserving some of America’s most important natural, cultural and historic treasures. Unfortunately, these resources are also some of the most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Among the most devastating examples is the recent flooding at Yellowstone National Park. As America’s oldest park, Yellowstone drew national attention, but many parks are dealing with the effects of heat, floods and fire. Historic wildfires threaten multiple western parks including Yosemite. Glaciers in Olympic and Glacier National Parks are melting at an alarming rate. Extreme heat and drought affect visitors, plants and animals. Joshua trees are disappearing in Joshua Tree National Park and Lake Mead is quickly shrinking. Rising sea levels are destroying homes and beaches at Cape Hatteras National Seashore and threatening the wetlands at Everglades National Park.

The following provisions give NPS and other agencies the needed resources to help protect our parks, public lands and waterways from the historic floods, fires, and heat being experienced across the nation:

  • $500 million for NPS to hire more staff
  • $250 million for NPS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for conservation, protection and resiliency projects on their lands and resources
  • $250 million for NPS and BLM for conservation, ecosystem and habitat restoration projects
  • $200 million for NPS deferred maintenance
  • $150 million for the Department of the Interior to hire and train more staff and to obtain needed equipment and information to speed up environmental review processes
  • Changes to the oil and gas program that include updating royalty rates for oil and gas production on public lands and waters and eliminating non-competitive leasing
  • $2.6 billion to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for conservation, restoration, and protection of coastal and marine habitats and resources
  • $390 million for NOAA for climate research, modeling, forecasting and information dissemination
  • $125 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for endangered species recovery
  • $60 billion for domestic clean energy manufacturing to incentivize the production of solar panels, wind turbines and batteries
  • $22.6 billion to decarbonize the transportation sector, including incentives for purchasing electric vehicles
  • $27 billion to establish a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund or “green bank” to provide low-cost financing for clean energy infrastructure projects
  • $1.8 billion for the US Forest Service to reduce hazardous fuels leading to damaging wildfires
  • $21 billion for climate smart agriculture and conservation technical assistance

While the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is an historic investment in parks and clean energy, it does have some worrying provisions. Specifically, requirements for more oil and gas leasing before allowing more clean energy projects on our public lands and waters. By tying renewable energy projects to more fossil fuel development, Congress is slowing down the speed of emissions reduction found in this bill. Despite this, the Inflation Reduction Act’s nearly $370 billion in climate action outweighs these troubling provisions.

Again, we urge the House to pass the Inflation Reduction Act as quickly as possible to keep America’s parks and communities from succumbing to floods, fire and drought. This bill will ensure our parks are resilient and sustainable for generations to come.

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