Inflation Reduction Act makes historic investment in combating climate change

Claire Roach and Zelda Zamora-Villa

After months of struggling to pass some of President Biden’s more progressive policies, the Democrats had success with the approval of the Inflation Reduction Act in August of 2022. This bill is set to have large impacts in areas impacting health care costs, closing loopholes in taxes for the wealthy and fighting climate change. 

Accounting for less than 1 percent of the act’s total climate investment, $2.6 billion will go to coastal cities in order to prepare for climate-related natural disasters. Nonprofits like Orange County Coastkeeper may also receive funds in order to protect marine life and take on innovative, climate-friendly projects. 

Tax credits and rebates will be given to make renewable energy appliances more affordable and give incentive to join clean energy tax credit programs. It also will close loopholes for the wealthy by enforcing a 15 percent minimum corporate tax.

In this $370 billion policy, funding is going into other areas like supporting disadvantaged communities in the face of inflation and creating jobs in manufacturing nationwide. Read more about the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 at

Inflation has been making everyone’s life more difficult, especially those of teenagers. The inflation that was caused by COVID-19 and other factors outside of the US has caused students to change their spending habits and adapt in unexpected ways. COVID affected the costs of things, such as gas and groceries, due to the money put into the economy, but because of how accessible this money became, demand for goods increased as people spent that extra money, and prices were driven up.

Many people saw inflation the most in gas prices, having a hard time keeping up with full tanks of gas, which limits the ability to participate in other activities as well. Charlie Kozak, a Tualatin High School (TuHS) senior, commented “If my friends want to go out or something, I need to tell myself that I can’t because I need to save money for more important things.We can’t, like, go on long trips, and I have to wait until I get paid to do fun things.”

Others see groceries as their family’s biggest concern. Dylan Munley, a TuHS  senior, said, “You have to think more about what you’re buying–I have family members like my mom and dad who look at deals more every week.”

Some students are more harshly affected by the inflated prices, such as one Tualatin High student living on their own with three jobs to stay on top of rent and necessities. They observed that, “people in high school just don’t realize how expensive the cost of living has become.” They went on to say that instead of changing their spending habits due to inflation, they actually work around it, pointing out that you can’t just stop taking care of yourself and your needs. 

Finding the good in such a harsh economic state seems impossible but it doesn’t need to be. 

“It’s forced me to find fun things to do that don’t cost money, such as fishing. Just hobbies that I don’t have to spend as much money on,” one TuHS student said.

Everyone in our community and throughout our country is being affected by the rising costs, bringing to light how important it is to notice how people from different backgrounds have been influenced by the pandemic.