In 2023, Just Solutions published “The Perfect Storm of Extraction, Poverty, and Climate Change,” which takes a case study approach to examine these pre-existing conditions in six frontline communities across the country. The report argues that the economic, health, and infrastructure conditions experienced by these communities are the direct consequence of enacted policies that have deprived these communities of resources and assets, environmentally degraded or undervalued their lands, or facilitated systemic racism. 

This follow-up report considers the degree to which the historic federal investments enabled by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 might improve the underlying conditions highlighted in “The Perfect Storm.” We conclude that, with careful implementation that centers the needs and voices of the most impacted communities, key provisions in the IRA and the IIJA could further contribute to addressing greenhouse gas reduction goals and could cumulatively help improve the conditions that exist in frontline communities. However, numerous challenges remain. These challenges include shortcomings in the statutes that fall short of meeting the needs of BIPOC and frontline communities, implementation processes affecting how and where funds are disbursed and who receives them, and the need for future policy advocacy, design, and implementation of economic and social solutions to advance a Just Transition.