Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Measuring the Inflation Reduction Act's Economic Potential for ND

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022   

The Inflation Reduction Act has made headlines for clean energy provisions and prescription drug cost reform for Medicare recipients.

A labor leader in North Dakota said the Act's economic benefits should bear fruit, even if local residents do not notice it right away. Among other things, the federal policy provides a 10-year extension of tax credits for wind and solar projects. North Dakota is known as an oil-producing state.

Landis Larson, president of the North Dakota AFL-CIO, said the region has seen activity in renewables, and federal incentives will help.

"It's going to bring more good-paying jobs to North Dakota," Larson contended. "And you know, as far as like, wind farms and, say, solar power also, there will be a lot of lease money for the farmers, for their land."

The Labor Energy Partnership estimates the legislation will add nearly 1.5 million jobs and $250 billion to the economy by 2030.

Republican critics of the plan said it will make inflation worse and hurt working families. Supporters countered revenue comes from a tax on large corporations reporting $1 billion or more in annual earnings, while noting the law also reduces the deficit.

There are also tax credits for buying electric vehicles. And Larson noted with EV charging station expansion included in last year's federal infrastructure law, people who drive EVs might feel more comfortable traveling through a rural state like North Dakota, and spending money.

"The range is getting longer and there's getting to be places where they can charge them already," Larson emphasized. "I think that adding more charging stations is really going to cause that to balloon a lot."

Supporters of the law added another key way in which people will be helped financially is a three-year extension of enhanced assistance for those enrolled in the Affordable Care Act. The extra aid was due to expire at the end of this year, and some analysts believe it is most beneficial to middle-class people who would otherwise be priced out of health coverage.

Disclosure: The North Dakota AFL-CIO contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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