The bill that Democratic U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin hashed out on climate change, prescription drugs and inflation could bring money to Georgia communities and companies.

This story also appeared in WABE

The bill has tax incentives to help people under a certain income level buy electric vehicles, an industry Georgia has worked to attract with huge incentive packages for manufacturing plants near Atlanta and Savannah.

It also includes incentives for clean energy manufacturing like solar panels and batteries, both growing industries in Georgia. And there’s money for agriculture and forestry, which are already big here.

“It’s like they wrote this for Georgia,” said Marilyn Brown, a public policy professor at Georgia Tech.

She’s also excited about incentives for heat pump production — and for tax credits to help consumers buy them. Heat pumps are more efficient than traditional HVAC systems, Brown said, and they’re cheaper and safer than the propane tanks that many people in rural areas rely on.

“Heat pumps are so perfect for the climate of Georgia,” she said.

There are also billions of dollars of investments in environmental justice and in reducing air pollution in low-income communities.

“There are so many communities in Georgia that are low-income communities, communities of color that haven’t been invested in,” said Brionté McCorkle, executive director of Georgia Conservation Voters. “Being able to direct these dollars into communities that need them the most, being able to say, ‘Hey, here’s actual money to solve this actual problem that you’re having,’ I think is really incredible.”

McCorkle said the work the past couple years advocating for federal climate legislation has been, at times, exhausting.

“It has really been a roller coaster for all of us. You know, tears have been shed in our office,” she said.

Now that there’s potentially a path forward for the reconciliation bill, she said she’s ecstatic.

“We’re all smiling now,” she said. “We’re all optimistic.”

Molly Samuel/WABE

Molly Samuel is the environment reporter at WABE, the NPR station in Atlanta.