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Join our work today to help us build a thriving and just clean energy future. 

Georgia Voters Worried Trump Would Quash Clean Energy: “It Would Be Catastrophic”

Georgians want the IRA not only to stay, but to expand because it's delivering for them in their state.

Added via AMPS UI.

Last night, President Biden and Donald Trump brought climate records that could not be more different to the debate in Atlanta. 

There is no comparison between a president who has done more on climate than any before him and kickstarted a clean energy economy that’s created over 312,000 new jobs with a convicted felon who pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, empowered corporate polluters, solicited $1 billion from Big Oil, and repeatedly lied to the American public, claiming climate change is a “hoax." And while recent political debates have more often digressed into a theatrical flurry of tit-for-tats than genuine discussion, what is more important is the clean energy transformation taking place throughout Georgia and across the country.

Since President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed, Georgia has seen more investment and job growth from the IRA than nearly any other state. In less than two years, it has funneled over $23 billion in investment into the state, created over 30,000 new clean energy jobs, and helped break ground on 41 new clean energy projects. 

While Donald Trump clearly has no clue about these numbers and has gone so far as to promise to dismantle the IRA if given the chance, Georgians actually do know a thing or two about the impacts of Biden’s signature climate achievement—because they are living and breathing them every day. 

To re-center the people behind our new, clean energy economy and America’s future, Evergreen spoke to local Georgians who have put the IRA to work for their businesses, communities, and families. We heard straight from these voters what it would mean to them if Trump delivered on his dangerous pledge to quash the IRA. And, spoiler: They think it would be catastrophic


Meet Olivia

Olivia is the founder and CEO of the Georgia solar energy company Infinite Energy Advisors. A Georgia Tech alum, Olivia has made it her mission to help grow solar in the state, building her own clean energy company and establishing a groundbreaking training program to foster a more diverse clean energy workforce.


"Solar doesn't have to be cost-prohibitive"

Team Evergreen · Olivia Amyette: "People who are in the lower income brackets also have a big place in the IRA"


Evergreen: You started your own business to make solar energy more accessible for Georgians, but along the way, you’ve also become a leader in making solar energy jobs more accessible for Georgians. How has the IRA helped in that effort?

Olivia: We wanted people to know solar was an option for them, and that there were local careers in solar. The only reason I was able to do that is because of IRA funding, from an economic and business standpoint. Solar sells itself to the right people, and it can be a great fit for a lot of different people. It doesn't have to be cost-prohibitive. 

We want to show [workers] the different [opportunities] that they can get. And we want to be prepared to be able to offer those [opportunities]. Some of them are about having apprentices, making sure that minority workforces are represented, and that you have a good mix of everybody there. It's very intentionally built into the IRA. And that helps me to say, “Hey, I can welcome everybody with open arms,” and I can use that as an incentive. 

I tend to be a pretty open businessperson, and the IRA further encourages that. It makes you want to partner with different community organizations as well.

Olivia and trainees around a mock solar panel installation.

Olivia (pictured second from the left), alongside participants in Infinite Energy Advisors’ in-house training program.

"Repealing the IRA would be catastrophic"

Evergreen: Donald Trump has made it very clear that he intends to repeal key components of the IRA if he’s re-elected this year. How do you see that threat of repeal potentially impacting Georgia and clean energy businesses like yours?

Olivia: I'll be completely transparent. I think [repealing the IRA] would be catastrophic for the industry as a whole. Not just small businesses like mine, but even the larger businesses that operate in all 50 states. If these incentives were taken away, it would be unnecessarily restrictive for people to get what they want. 

I think about the consumers and the workforce. Some of these folks have trained for over a decade to refine their skill [in solar] and they have found a passion in their career. If we have a workforce that's trained and passionate, and then you take away all the incentives for the product they're trained and passionate in, they're just sitting idly. It's not sustainable for them.

And the economic benefits of the IRA make [solar] more accessible. That further fuels everybody's passion for working in the industry. At least for the residential market, we are very dependent on [IRA] incentives. A lot of people choose to go solar because they need that tax credit.

The price of solar has gone down considerably since it first was introduced to the world, but it's not cheap enough yet to where we can reach all communities. So, the incentives that the IRA brings are crucial to the health of this industry, the health of the companies, the health of the workforce, and also the customer base who are interested in it.


"The next generation is looking for something new"

Team Evergreen · Olivia Amyette on the IRA's commitment to communities


Evergreen: You just led a solar training session a few days ago. How did it go, and what did you hear from the participants?

Olivia: What was really cool was that it attracted so many different people and to see the interest from so many different minority groups, as well. People often ask me, “Are you sure you want to do it [the training] in this county [White County, Georgia]? There's really not a great [racial or economic] mix there.” But we had folks who only spoke Spanish, and had someone translating for them. We had a good mix of Hispanic Americans and African Americans. There’s a good mix of socioeconomic backgrounds. My diverse installation groups and sales groups are the best. They outperform any homogenous group from any race, and I think that diversity is the best way to ensure success.

People in industry know that the transition to solar is coming, and they are really hungry for it. They want to be ready for it. People who came from general construction backgrounds [to the training] told me, “I'm so glad that I woke up for this [training] because I'm so used to doing what my dad did, what my grandpa did, and what his dad and his grandpa did.” The [next generation] is looking for something new that makes them feel alive, instead of just another rendition of their ancestors, and I thought that was really, really cool.


"I hope to see the IRA not just stay in place, but to expand"

Team Evergreen · Olivia Amyette on the cost of solar


Evergreen: What would you like to share with your fellow Georgians and Americans ahead of the elections, and what would you like the candidates to know?

Olivia: Solar was created to give people the savings they need. I think that without the IRA, solar would still be a thing for the rich when it really is not. It's basically free energy when the sun is up. 

The IRA is really helping communities to feel more empowered and to say, “Wait a minute, regardless of what side of [the political aisle] I'm on, I'm actually included.”

I hope to see the IRA not just stay in place, but to expand. I hope that there are more programs that come out to encourage people to invest in themselves and green energy careers. I hope they roll out even more incentives for small businesses because I think that's what everybody wants to see.


Meet Larry

Larry Heiman is a Georgia homeowner and the vice-chair of the Dunwoody Sustainability Committee. Over the past few years, Larry has been working to electrify his home and family cars with the help of IRA and utility rebates. Now, he’s studying to complete his Energy Policy and Climate master’s from Johns Hopkins University and helping to organize seminars on IRA benefits for Georgia residents.


"Electrification is good for your bottom line"

Evergreen: You’ve taken it upon yourself to electrify your home using IRA credits, and you’ve helped educate members of your community. In a time where our country is divided between red and blue, how do you approach talking about “green”?

Larry: In the events our Sustainability Committee has held for residents, no one is standing up saying, “You’re full of it. You’re just a liberal.” The thing is, they just don’t know about it. And it goes way deeper. I think that most people don’t know whether, for example, their hot water heater is gas or electric, whatever their political persuasion. Or even if they care a lot about the environment, they don’t know if their HVAC is electric or gas or what have you. They don’t know how home insulation works, if they need it, or that weatherization is important. 

I’m still learning all these things, and it’s not something that we are really taught. So, it’s really a literacy issue in my opinion within the whole climate-energy nexus. The people who know about climate as a problem, they probably know about EVs, but other things aren’t part of their daily life. That’s not a Georgia thing; that’s an everywhere thing.

To the people who are against clean energy, I tell them it’s good for local economic development in Georgia and jobs, and electrifying your home will make it more valuable. I’ve told people if you can install an EV charger in your garage, do it even if you don’t have an EV. You’re probably going to get an EV one day anyway, and even if you don’t, your house not having an EV charger in 10 years is going to be like not having a front door. 

In addition to the tax credits, there’s the health angle as well—not having carbon monoxide in your home. [Electrification] is good for your bottom line, and it’s good for the environment. 

Larry leading a climate seminar.

Larry speaking at a Green Speak event in Dunwoody, Georgia.

"We can improve energy efficiency here in Georgia"

Team Evergreen · Larry Heiman on energy efficiency


Evergreen: What role has the IRA played in your life and in your community, and what would you like to see in the future?

Larry: I was closely following the passage of the IRA, and there were a lot of changes I wanted to make anyway because I’m interested in decarbonizing my own personal infrastructure, and I was very willing to accept any help to do it that the government would give! The first thing was that our car was getting old, so we bought an EV in April 2023, and then we got rooftop solar last June.

With the IRA, my hope is that it will get the contractor community (for HVAC, water heaters, duct sealing, etc.) up to speed because they’ll lose out if they don’t offer these services because someone else will offer it with a tax credit or rebate. So, hopefully, that community, out of pure economic necessity, will start offering these things more proactively. Very few people do things on their own. These incentives, along with contractors, are the key to this. 

We can improve energy efficiency here in Georgia in people’s homes and small businesses and reduce energy demand on cold winter mornings and summer afternoons if we do more things like weatherization, insulation, and duct sealing, along with other actions. Energy bills are high here in Georgia, and have gone up, so anything people can do to make their house more efficient is absolutely positive.


"I’d like politicians to fight to keep the IRA"

Team Evergreen · Larry Heiman on the impact of individual action


Evergreen: How would a potential repeal of the IRA impact households and communities like yours who are looking to electrify their transportation and energy systems? 

Larry: People wouldn’t have incentives to take these actions because these are things you have to spend upfront capital on and they can be more costly. For example, when we had an old gas water heater break, I had the company come out, and the tax credit made a high-efficiency electric heat pump water heater about the same price as putting in another gas water heater would have been. It’s depressing to think that without those incentives, someone may just say, “Put in the cheapest one,” or they wouldn’t be able to pay the difference. The IRA makes that difference much smaller.

Evergreen: Ahead of the election, what would you want to say to your fellow Georgians, as well as your politicians and lawmakers? 

Larry: I want [Georgians] to know that the decisions you make today will last for a long time. The things that you do, whether it’s insulation improvements, air sealing, duct sealing—those things are part of your house forever, and their environmental benefits last a long time. Even HVAC and water heating equipment are very long-lived assets. I might not live in this house for 20 more years, but the environmental benefits of the heat pump water heater I just installed will hopefully still be paying dividends in 15 years for whoever's living here. 

As far as politicians, I’d like [them] to fight to keep the IRA. And it’s not just federal—I’d like states and electric utilities boost incentives and rebates for these kinds of actions. And I’d like to see the media promote this stuff more. Very few people know about it. I’m personally trying to educate people about it, but there is a long way to go.

There’s a lot to be done, but it’s doable.


Climate Is on the Ballot

On the heels of President Biden and Donald Trump’s first public standoff, the weight of this election is palpable. Georgia represents a battleground state for both candidates: It held the closest margin in the 2020 elections and served as the lightning rod for Trump’s spurious efforts to overthrow the results of the election. This context is not lost on local Georgians, who have now seen the benefits of the IRA and strong climate leadership. As Olivia and Larry said, they do not want our next leader to turn back the clock and strip their communities of these life-changing investments. 

The potential re-election of Donald Trump and his climate-denying administration would do just that. His plan to end clean energy investments would lead to layoffs in the booming local businesses in Georgia and across the country and be devastating for people, local economies, and our climate. At the end of the day, his interests have always and will always lie with his fossil-backed donors over the American people. 

President Biden passed the historic Inflation Reduction Act and has already started channeling benefits directly into communities across the country. Now, we must defend this progress and build on it in the next four years. 



Medhini Kumar


by Medhini Kumar, Digital Lead - Writer/Editor