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By the numbers: Tallying the tide of IRA dollars

Illustration of a balloon in the shape of a question mark inflating.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A handful of groups have tried to calculate just how much the Inflation Reduction Act will cost.

Bottom line: It's not at all clear.

The big picture: The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated last year that the climate and energy provisions would cost close to $400 billion.

Between the lines: The biggest incentives in the IRA have no caps on spending. The more clean energy projects that get built, the more tax credits flow from federal coffers.

Be smart: Investors and advocates are far less focused on tallying the taxpayer totals — and much more interested in just how much private investment the IRA will spur.

  • Credit Suisse estimated the total public and private spending from the IRA at $1.7 trillion, Nick Sobczyk wrote last week in Axios Pro Energy Policy.
  • That would leave the U.S. "well positioned to be the premier energy supplier for the world," the bank wrote. It's also a fraction of what's needed to decarbonize.
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