FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Program Manager, Climate & Clean Energy Advocacy
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
A Win for Climate, Health & Still Room for Growth
Washington, D.C.– On Sunday August 7, 2022 Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act by a vote of 51-50 with Vice President Harris casting the tie breaking vote. The bill, 725 pages long, proposes $369 billion in energy, security, and climate change programs over the next ten years. In response to the decision today, The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments’ (ANHE) Executive Director, Katie Huffling, DNP, RN, CNM, FAAN, issued the following statement:
“Without question, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is the largest investment in climate solutions and environmental justice in U.S. history and it should be commended. However, it should be noted that while this is both the largest single investment in climate action in U.S. history, it is still not nearly enough given the scale of the problem.
“After concerns that reconciliation would not include climate provisions, this week’s historic actions taken towards climate action are welcome. There are a number of major wins in this bill, such as actions to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030. Wins that are a direct result from the popular movement for climate protection, nursing, and public health advocates. As a unified collective of nurses advocating for cleaner and healthier environments, we also acknowledge that this agreement comes with some significantly concerning provisions, and we will do everything we can to make sure that the compromises in this bill do not undermine future progress.
“As nurses who advocate for environmental health and justice, we want to keep front and center the health of the fence-line and front-line communities who continue to endure health impacts when policy provisions could have gone to other health beneficial sectors such as public transit or the Civilian Climate Corps. The bill proposes spending $60 billion for investing in environmental justice which is a major win. Nurses acknowledge that justice includes minimizing the production and use of fossil-fuels, which contribute to hospital admissions for children and the elderly and disproportionately impact poor communities and communities of color.
We want to ensure that this bill is the start and not the end of climate action, which is why nurses will continue to keep the pressure on. We urge the House to quickly vote on the IRA and will continue to push for the Biden Administration to use their full executive authority to advance bold and ambitious climate action, including declaring a climate emergency and stopping fossil fuel projects, leases, and exports.”
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.