Sustainability and Social Justice

Publication Date

Spring 2024

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Faculty Sponsor

Christopher Williams

First Advisor

Christopher Williams

Second Advisor

Morgan Ruelle


Bachelor of Arts




Environmental Science


The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has been described as “the most significant action Congress has taken on clean energy and climate change in the nation’s history,” totaling some $370 billion in tax credits and federal grants for everything from residential solar panels to urban forestry. As the first of its size in U.S. climate policy, the IRA has been a subject of study and debate since its introduction, but it is only in this past year that funding reporting data has become available. This thesis utilizes this federal data to produce a novel analysis of IRA implementation at the regional scale, focusing on the six states that comprise New England. Starting with a review of its context within the timeline of U.S. climate policy and a literature review of existing research on the IRA, this paper presents a much-needed comprehensive summary of the entire Act, which is leveraged to provide background information for the regional analysis. The distribution of the funding both nationally and in New England is assessed by use category, recipient type, federal agency, and in order of amount by individual provision. A representative case study is presented for each of the eight recipient types, demonstrating the breadth of IRA-funded projects and characteristics of the regional leaders. Finally, recommendations for improving implementation – including advancing awareness, administrative capacity, and community interest in rural areas – and for needed future legislation are offered, with the ultimate aim of helping regional players and policymakers better achieve emissions reduction and justice objectives.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Inflation Reduction Act, Climate Policy, New England, Green New Deal





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