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Green Leadership Trust Response to the Inflation Reduction Act

In response to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in Congress, members ofthe Green Leadership Trust (GLT) drafted a sign-on letter to express concerns that keyprovisions of the newly-passed Inflation Reduction Act will delay progress towards justclimate policies and compound harm on communities already disproportionatelyburdened by the effects of climate change.The sign on letter featured 34 members of GLT who formally endorsed the points madein the letter. The letter was sent to Congress and the Biden Administration.Below are talking points that we hope help you in your advocacy within your boards. Foradditional language, please find the letter directed at Congress here and the letter for theBiden Administration here.Board Member Talking Points On the IRAWhat is the IRA and why is it important?The Inflation Reduction Act is the first Climate Bill in U.S. history. After 50 years ofopportunity and 30 years of warnings on the risk of global climate change, the US is nowempowered to broker at the global table for lower risk scenarios.Passage of the IRA legislation ushers in a new era for the climate and environmentmovement. Mainstream environmental organizations rushed to celebrate and embracethe Act while others, primarily Black, Brown and Indigenous leaders, sounded alarmsthat the fossil fuel provisions would sacrifice frontline communities. As climate andenvironment leaders, members of GLT see our mandate as lifting up the concerns of ourcommunities in boardrooms and beyond.GLT Member Areas of Concerns

● The process for developing the IRA follows a well worn path of primetime/gametime and exclusion of impacted communities in determining the legislation andparameters.● Inputs into the IRA were limited to white led organizations, and non profitgatekeepers acting as proxies for a vast and nuanced set of communities,relationships, Tribal Nations and geographies.● The resulting legislation will require significant litigation, policy development,regulatory and administrative advocacy and these areas are woefullyunderfunded as the status quo; “Green Group” organizations will need to providelegal support/defense, grassroots campaigning and policy protection alignmentsto walk back the more devastating portions of the IRA and companion legislation

Specifically, we are alarmed about the following provisions:

● Provides generous tax credits but, as a result, neglects the pocket-book supportthat working people will need to move away from fossil fuels, like increased masstransit, income-independent subsidies for shifting to electric appliances, andother forms of progressive economic incentives. In addition, a reliance on taxcredits to polluters has the net economic effect of subsidizing them andundermining critical sources of revenue (polluter pays) we all need to movetowards efficiency and renewables● Includes support for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). The Administrationmust plot a course back towards power plant policy that is both environmentallysound and politically sustainable. It must ensure that CCS neither extends the lifeof plants that should be mothballed asap nor extends the toxic pollution risks thatfenceline communities already face.● Mandates that the federal government offer up parts of the Gulf of Mexico andAlaska’s Cook Inlet for oil and gas development. It also requires additional oil andgas leasing, in order for new wind and solar projects to be approved.● Grants extra legal approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project which hasbeen opposed for years by environmentalists, civil rights activists, and manyDemocratic state lawmakers in Virginia, which would carry natural gas from theMarcellus shale fields in West Virginia across nearly 1,000 streams and wetlandsbefore ending in Virginia.● Provides for an odious side deal to approve a separate bill that would make itharder for opponents to challenge energy projects under the NationalEnvironmental Policy Act – a bedrock environmental law – by setting a two-yeartime limit for challenges.● Requires the president to establish twenty five “priority” projects on federal landsthat must include fossil fuels and nuclear energy.● Revises a section of the Clean Water Act in a way that would make it moredifficult to block or delay pipeline projects.● Overlooks and excludes community based financial institutions, such as MDIs,CDFIs and credit unions, from directly benefiting and thus enabling climatefinance.

Outcomes: IRA Provisions

● The $369 Billion in funding for climate is:○ 16% at best in a mixed bag of environmental justice priorities○ Enlarges sacrifice zones to include the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and theGulf South and Indigenous lands subject to mining to increase battery andstorage○ Provides $700 million to public land management○ Provides $200 million to watershed support for threatened ecology○ Enables carbon offsets markets with $150 million in starter dollars whileoffering nothing for indigenous forest management or traditional

ecological knowledge from the longest standing stewards in indigenouscommunities○ Provides at least $100 million dollars for wood innovation with neutralityabout uses for biomass and other community rejected technology orrestoration○ Provides $500 million in defense production act funding for renewablemanufacture without an emphasis protecting for ecosystem harm frommining, which puts our communities at risk and will have to be defendedon a case by case basis by large stakeholder coalitions

Key Questions to Raise in YOUR Boardroom● What is our organizational commitment to exposing and addressing the harmfulelements of the IRA on frontline communities?● How is your organization planning to develop internal controls and mechanismsto take the lead from racialized (BIPOC) leaders on the sequence and priorities tomitigate the harms in response to the passage of the IRA?● What resources can our organization bring to bear to support Black, Brown, andIndigenous community driven solutions to reduce the risks of the IRA?● What is our organizational commitment to providing legal support/defense,grassroots campaigning and policy protection alignments to walk back the moredevastating portions of the IRA and companion legislation.● What mechanisms can we implement as a board that reflect lessons learnedfrom the experience of passage of the IRA, and growing divides betweenmainstream organizations and frontline leaders?● How can your organization leverage relationships on the Hill to oppose legislationto reopen the Mountain Valley Pipeline and to “streamline NEPA”?