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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

NY, PA towns benefit from Inflation Reduction Act grants

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Monday, April 22, 2024   

New York towns are reaping many benefits since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed.

Along with funds for larger clean energy projects, the state was awarded $158 million for the IRA's Home Energy Rebates program.

Smaller towns and villages use these grants to implement their climate action plans.

Brighton Town Councilmember Robin Wilt said an IRA grant they applied for will help upgrade the town's HVAC system.

"We will be implementing geothermal and then use a solar array to make the system close to net zero, not quite," said Wilt. "I think we'll get 55% of our energy back with the solar panels."

The bureaucratic process to access the funding was challenging, but some groups are working with the Department of Energy to improve it.

Wilt said feedback on the clean energy projects has been positive. Future projects using IRA funding include increasing walkability and sustainable redevelopment.

Critics have said the IRA includes multiple provisions to increase fossil fuel production.

Towns nationwide are using IRA grants to bolster clean energy projects.

Joel Hicks is a council member for the Borough of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

They've just applied for a grant to work on energy efficiency and solar projects with Harrisburg. He said this will have positive impacts beyond establishing clean energy.

"We were really excited at this potential," said Hicks, "because we saw that the cost savings we would have for putting in substantial solar projects on our public property would actually fund many of our other public municipal goals."

These include purchasing an electric vehicle fleet and having more efficient solid waste programs.

One thing Hicks said he wants to see in future is state and local governments helping small towns and municipalities with putting together their IRA grant proposals.




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