According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16, 2022, would have a negligible impact on inflation.
President Biden himself said at a recent campaign stop in New Mexico that the Inflation Reduction Act “has nothing to do with inflation.”
“It has nothing to do with inflation: it has to do with the… $368 billion, the single largest investment in climate change anywhere in the world,” Biden said a campaign reception in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Aug. 8. “And it’s beginning to take hold.”
On the first anniversary of Biden signing the bill into law, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree echoed the president’s statements on the Inflation Reduction Act’s primary focus being to address climate change, not inflation.
“It’s no exaggeration to say the Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant climate legislation in US history,” Rep. Pingree wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“The transition to a green economy is expected to save families an average of $1,000/yr in energy costs,” Pingree added. “Maine won’t wait. I encourage all Mainers to take advantage of the clean energy incentives the Inflation Reduction Act offers to save energy, save money, + save the planet.”
Pingree has a page on her website dedicated to the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits, which include rebates for home heat pumps, rooftop solar panels, small wind turbines, and new electric vehicles.
The Inflation Reduction Act, Pingree says, has slashed prescription drug costs, reduced inflation, and lowered the costs of health care and energy bills.
So far, however, it does not seem as though the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate initiatives have helped reduce energy costs to Maine ratepayers.
Electricity prices in Maine have increased in 2023 — an overall bill increase of 27 percent from 2022 for Central Maine Power customers and 17 percent for Versant, a price hike attributed to the Russia-Ukraine war by the Governor’s Energy Office.
Maine has one of the highest average residential and commercial electricity rates in the nation.
The unknown total cost of Gov. Janet Mills’ offshore wind development program, a project that will not be operational for several years, could result in an even greater increase in costs to taxpayers and ratepayers over the coming years.
The rate of inflation in the U.S. has come down to its lowest rate since early 2021, down to 3.2 percent in July from 9.1 percent in June of last year.
Despite inflation slowing, a recent Associated Press poll showed only 36 percent of U.S. adults approve of President Biden’s handling of the economy — lower than his overall performance rating of 42 percent.
The poll also found that just 34 percent of Americans think the national economy is doing very or somewhat well, and that only 52 percent of Democrats under the age of 45 approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, compared to 77 percent of older Democrats.