In a move that would make the largest ever federal investment in climate mitigation, the U.S. Senate today voted in favor of a budget reconciliation bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act. If passed by the House, the legislation would direct $369 billion towards clean energy tax credits, methane reduction incentives, sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, and other provisions that would reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 40 percent over the next eight years.
The Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition (SGCC), which represents more than 270 shellfish businesses across the country, spent the week in Washington, D.C., urging coastal Senators to support this critical bill. Upon its passage, the coalition’s executive committee released the following statement:
"The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is extremely encouraging news for coastal businesses like ours that are on the front lines of the climate crisis. With each passing year and with each fraction of a degree of warming, environmental conditions on our farms become increasingly hostile. Scientists say we must halve emissions within the decade to prevent dramatically worse outcomes – not just for us, but for the people we employ, the customers we feed, the economies we strengthen, and the ecosystems we support.
"By making the biggest ever investment in climate solutions, this crucial bill is an investment in our futures, helping ensure that shellfish businesses and coastal communities flourish for generations to come. The Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition is appreciative of the hard work in the Senate to reach this deal, and we now call on the House to swiftly follow suit.
"While this bill is a huge leap towards meeting our climate goals, it is important to remember that there is still work to be done. To secure a livable future, Congress must take every opportunity to decarbonize our economy and build resilience to greater environmental extremes. We look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on meaningful climate action."
SGCC’s executive committee includes Sally McGee of The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut; Andy DePaola of DePe’s Oysters, Alabama; Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish, Washington; Gary Fleener of Hog Island Oyster Company, California; Davis Herron of Lobster Place, New York; Sarah and Steve Malinowski of Fishers Island Oyster Farm, New York; and Bill Mook of Mook Sea Farm, Maine.
The Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition (SGCC) is a passionate group of shellfish farmers, harvesters, hatchery operators, wholesalers, retailers, and restaurateurs across 21 U.S. states and Canada. Members are committed to bringing about climate action by sharing personal stories about how climate change has impacted their lives and livelihoods. The coalition’s goal is to advocate for sound climate policy and secure a low-carbon future to benefit the shellfish we love and the waters that sustain them—before it's too late. The SGCC was established in 2018 when a group of seven U.S. shellfish farmers partnered with The Nature Conservancy to help move the needle on climate change. To learn more, visit nature.org/shellfish4climate or follow @shellfish4climate on Instagram.