Al Gore highlights flaws in Biden’s IRA

**Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore Critiques President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)**

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore recently expressed his views on President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) during the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference. While Gore considers the IRA to be the most impactful climate change law ever passed by any country, he believes that the legislation has some notable flaws that need to be addressed.

**Investments in Low-Emission Energy Technology**

President Biden signed the IRA into law almost a year ago, marking a significant milestone for climate change and healthcare legislation. The bill allocates $369 billion over the next decade to support low-emission forms of energy, making it the largest federal investment ever committed to combating climate change. The funding for this bill comes from new taxes imposed on large companies, as well as measures to crack down on tax evasion. The IRA also includes direct subsidies for clean tech development and consumer tax credits for electric vehicles.

**Technological Advances Driving the Sustainability Revolution**

According to Gore, advancements in technology, such as batteries and artificial intelligence, are fueling a sustainability revolution. These innovations play a crucial role in addressing climate change and creating a more sustainable future.

**Concerns About Carbon Capture and Sequestration**

While supportive of the IRA as a whole, Gore expressed reservations about one aspect of the legislation: carbon capture and sequestration. Carbon capture involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in natural locations, such as underground geological formations. However, Gore is skeptical of the effectiveness of this technology and believes that it is currently impractical. He criticized the idea of retrofitting coal-burning power plants with carbon capture technology, describing it as “ridiculous.” He sees this inclusion as a significant flaw in the IRA.

**Issues of Moral Hazard**

Gore also raised concerns about the subsidies provided for carbon capture, suggesting that they create a moral hazard. He argues that these subsidies create the false impression that continuing to burn fossil fuels and capturing the emissions is a viable solution. Gore believes that this dangerous misconception is intentionally embedded in the law to accommodate compromises made during its passage. He views the moral hazard as a deliberate feature, rather than an unintended flaw.

**President Biden’s Climate Action and the Impact of the IRA**

Despite his reservations, Gore agrees with President Biden’s assertion that his administration has taken the most aggressive climate action in U.S. history. The IRA aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, demonstrating a strong commitment to tackling climate change. Gore praises the IRA as the largest and most effective climate law ever enacted by any nation.

**Financial Implications of the IRA**

A report released by Goldman Sachs earlier this year estimates that the green subsidies in the IRA will cost $1.2 trillion, which is considerably higher than initially stated by Democrats. However, the same report suggests that the IRA will stimulate approximately $3 trillion of investment in renewable energy technology, indicating a significant potential for growth and development in this sector.

**Acknowledging President Biden’s Efforts**

In conclusion, Gore commends President Biden and his team for successfully passing the IRA. Despite his concerns about certain aspects of the law, he acknowledges the administration’s commitment and effort in addressing climate change.

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