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Monday, June 17, 2024

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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

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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