ELIZABETH, N.J. (PIX11) — New Jersey residents could expect to save about 10% on their monthly gas and prescription drug bills if the Inflation Reduction Act passes Congress.
That is the claim being made by Sen. Cory Booker, (D) New Jersey. Booker also said there are lesser known items in the bill to address long-standing pollution injustices for Black and brown communities, pointing especially to the Elizabeth Marine Terminal.
At the port, the third busiest in the country, the idling, loading and unloading of semi-trucks with cargo containers pumps air pollution into adjacent to black and brown neighborhoods. Booker said said the Act, which is really a health care, climate and deficit reduction bill rolled all into one, would do something about this.
“Everything for mitigating pollution around our ports, there are proven ways to reduce the emissions there, to planting trees in urban areas to pull the carbon out of the air,” Booker said.
The billions of dollars for environmental justice have gotten less attention than the plans to address pain at the pump.
“It’s been very bad very expensive, weekly it’s about $80,” New Jersey driver Maria Colon said.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes subsidies for purchasing electric vehicles and producing greener power. It also aims to reduce the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices. That is the other concern we heard from Colon who has had to begin making tough choices.
“People rely on monthly medications,” she said. “It’s your health or getting to work.”
Booker said he had his staff ran the numbers and the bill could mean big savings for New Jersey.
“We are looking at New Jerseyians on energy as well as pharmaceuticals getting close to 10% savings on your monthly living expenses,” Booker said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D) New York, said on the Senate floor Thursday that he does expect the Inflation Reduction Act to pass after a few days of debate.
However, Republicans continue to insist the additional spending will only make inflation worse, and it is still unclear if Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will support the bill. Democrats need every vote with an evenly divided Senate.