Bad Takes Podcast, Ep. 1: ‘Climate justice’ vs. the climate bill


Bad Takes, Episode 1: Climate justice vs. the climate bill

Could the biggest federal investment in fighting climate change be worse for the environment than nothing? Yes, according to some climate justice activists.

In this week’s episode, Laura and Matt turn to a press release published by the Climate Justice Alliance, a collective of dozens of community organizations. In the run-up to the Senate’s summer vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, the group wrote:

“After careful study of the language of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Climate Justice Alliance concludes that the harms of the bill as it is currently written outweigh its benefits.”

The alliance’s issue is that Democrats made concessions to Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin that will allow oil and gas companies to pump more carbon into the air. Experts say that on balance the bill reduces a lot more carbon than the sweeteners will produce.


Matt explains why the movement doesn’t look at the bill as a whole to decide its value, and Laura explores the subtext: What does it say about this moment in American politics that activists won’t take what she sees as a win? Listen here.

Suggested reads:

The Inflation Reduction Act is Not a Climate Justice Bill, Climate Justice Alliance

‘We’ve been sold out’: Enviro justice advocates slam Biden’s climate compromise, Zack Colman, Politico

“In other words, for every one ton of emissions caused by oil and gas leasing provisions, at least 24 tons of emissions are avoided by other IRA provisions. Thus, despite increased oil and gas extraction, the IRA overwhelmingly reduces emissions.” — “Modeling the Inflation Reduction Act Using the Energy Policy Simulator,” Energy Innovator, August 2022 (Megan Mahajan, Olivia Ashmoore, Jeffrey Rissman, Robbie Orivs Ananad Gopal)


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