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The U.S. Could Slash Climate Pollution, But it Might not be Enough, a New Report Says

The United States is poised to make much deeper cuts to the pollution that’s fueling global warming than it was even a couple years ago. That’s largely because of the billions of dollars the country is spending on green technologies through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Congressional Democrats passed last summer, according to a new report from Rhodium Group.

The research firm says that by 2030, the U.S. could lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 29% to 42%, compared to 2005 pollution levels. At the start of the Biden administration, Rhodium Group analysts said it looked like the country would only be able to cut its emissions by about a quarter, at most. The changed outlook reflects expectations that huge investments by the federal government will make things like renewable energy and electric vehicles a lot more affordable.

But big barriers still stand in the way. Companies that build wind and solar plants often struggle to get projects permitted by local governments because of public opposition. And there are long waiting lines to plug in power plants and batteries to the country’s electric grids. To make the kinds of emissions cuts that the Rhodium Group says are possible, the U.S. will have to at least match its best-ever year for wind and solar development, and it will have to do it year after year.

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