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The Inflation Reduction Act offers a potentially transformative opportunity to address our dual crises of climate change and the pervasive racial inequities in our financial system together. We applaud the Biden Administration and Congress for moving this vital legislation forward. The Inflation Reduction Act’s $27 billion investment in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a crucial tool to address the climate crisis, and it must be implemented with a strong focus on communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by climate change and marginalized because of race, ethnicity or immigration status.

The racial wealth gap, an ongoing consequence of redlining and financial exclusion that has resulted in Black and Hispanic families accumulating far less wealth than white families, is well documented. In addition, our current energy system disproportionately burdens communities of color. Recent research shows that Black and Native American households spend about 45% more of their income on energy costs than non-Hispanic white households and Hispanic households spend 20% more.

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