Joe Biden signs the IRA into law in August, 2022. [Getty]
[Note: This story is also published at Forbes.com]
By now, most Americans are aware of the $369 billion in new incentives subsidies for low-carbon energy projects that were contained in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed by congress last summer and signed into law by President Joe Biden. Fewer are likely aware of the more than $200 billion in similar programs contained in the so-called Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Law enacted in 2021.
Fewer still will be aware that a significant slice of the IRA funding is not going to projects for wind or solar or batteries or hydrogen development. Millions of IRA dollars are in fact going to fund activist organizations which partner with the Beyond Petrochemicals effort created by billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
Launched in September, 2022 - the month after President Biden signed the IRA into law - Beyond Petrochemicals states on its website that its mission is to “block the expansion of more than 120 proposed petrochemical and plastic projects concentrated in three target geographies – Louisiana, Texas, and the Ohio River Valley – and will also work to establish stricter rules for existing plants to safeguard the health of American communities.”
In the next paragraph, the group spells out its strategy: “Beyond Petrochemicals will turbocharge the work being done by frontline groups and aligned organizations that are leading the fight to end petrochemical pollution in these communities.”
That’s all fine: Among the many blessings of being a U.S. citizen is that they are free to support whatever cause they wish to support and fund them with their hard-earned (for the most part) money. Taken in that light, Beyond Petrochemicals appears to be just another non-profit established by a multi-billionaire to try to achieve a goal.
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