Inflation Reduction Act Roundtable

Understanding the most significant climate legislation in US history—the Inflation Reduction Act

On Sept. 23, 2022, the IU Environmental Resilience Institute and Integrated Program for the Environment hosted a distinguished panel of policy experts for a virtual roundtable on the significance and potential impact of groundbreaking new climate legislation.

View a recording of this event

Event details

In mid-August, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a landmark piece of legislation that authorizes $369 billion in federal spending on clean energy and climate change initiatives. Highlights include:

  • financing to help states transition to clean energy and upgrade transmission infrastructure
  • incentives for domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies
  • tax credits for buying new and used electric cars
  • incentives to reduce methane leaks in oil and gas production
  • funding for sustainable agriculture and forest conservation

The law is projected to decrease US emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels. Furthermore, the IRA legally defines greenhouse gases as pollutants for the first time, making explicit the US Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Climate advocates tout the IRA as a gamechanger in the movement to curb global warming and a restoration of US leadership on climate change. But with so many moving parts, how will the law actually play out?

Meet the panel

Janet McCabe

Deputy Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency

The current deputy administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, McCabe possesses decades of experience working for environmental agencies at the federal and state levels. With a focus on implementation of the Clean Air Act and other air quality issues, she spent seven years working within EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation under President Barack Obama. Prior to rejoining EPA in 2021, McCabe was a professor of practice at the IU McKinney School of Law and director of the Environmental Resilience Institute.

John Applegate

James L. Calamaras Professor of Law, IU Maurer School of Law

A distinguished environmental law scholar, Applegate is nationally recognized for his work in environmental risk assessment and policy analysis. He has written many articles on the regulation of toxic substances and public participation in environmental decisions and has participated on numerous National Academies of Sciences committees, advising on the clean-up of former nuclear weapons production facilities. Applegate previously served as IU’s executive vice president for university academic affairs and as interim executive vice president and IU Bloomington provost.

Dan Esposito

Senior Policy Analyst, Energy Innovation

A policy analyst at a non-partisan energy and climate think tank, Esposito supports the development of policy solutions to unlock an accelerated transition to a clean, reliable, equitable, and affordable U.S. electricity system. Most recently, Esposito has worked to analyze the Inflation Reduction Act to help state policymakers and regulators understand how to leverage its investments, with a focus on its clean power and low-carbon hydrogen provisions. His previous clean energy policy roles include the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Center for Resource Solutions.