Tag Archives: climate action

Biden in SOTU to Highlight Clean Energy Manufacturing and Deployment Investments that Cut Consumer Costs, Strengthen US Energy Sector and Create Good-Paying Jobs

President Joe Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi at his Speech to the Nation in 2021. This year’s SOTU, the President’s first, will be mask-optional, evidence of the Administration’s progress in ending the worst ravages of the coronavirus pandemic  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via msnbc.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine likely to take up a large measure of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech, he is unlikely to have enough time or space to detail his accomplishments and his agenda going forward. Here are more details from the White House about what the President will say about clean energy manufacturing, strengthening the US energy sector, and cutting consumer costs and creating good-paying jobs:

President Biden campaigned on a bold vision of tackling the climate crisis with the urgency that science demands by seizing the opportunity to build a strong domestic energy sector that can manufacture and deploy clean energy for the benefit of all Americans—with lower costs for families, good-paying jobs for workers, and healthier air and cleaner water for communities.

Since Day One, he has delivered. After rejoining the Paris Agreement, restoring scientific integrity, and reinvigorating U.S. leadership on the world stage, President Biden mobilized every federal agency to achieve groundbreaking goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030, reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, and delivering 40% of the benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The President formed the first-ever National Climate Task Force, bringing together Cabinet leaders to drive decisive action toward those goals.

Alongside historic executive actions, President Biden also made climate action and environmental justice a centerpiece of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—which includes the largest federal investments ever in upgrading the power grid, improving public transit and investing in zero-emission transit and school buses, installing a nationwide EV charging network, cleaning up legacy pollution, delivering clean water and replacing lead pipes, demonstrating innovative climate technologies, and increasing climate resilience to safeguard against extreme weather, which last year caused more than $145 billion in damages from the biggest 20 disasters alone.

CALLING ON CONGRESS TO DELIVER

President Biden knows that we need to move even faster to combat climate change—and that to meet the moment and fully seize the economic opportunity in front of us, Congress must act. In his first State of the Union address, the President will call on Congress to deliver on a legislative agenda for clean energy and climate action that has overwhelming support from the American people—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Specifically, the President will lift up the benefits we can secure for American consumers, companies, and communities by enacting critical investments and tax credits for domestic clean energy manufacturing and deployment. He will also highlight how the investments and tax credits would cut energy costs for American families an average of $500 per year.

As part of the President’s unwavering support for climate solutions, these investments will reduce emissions, lower costs for families, create good-paying jobs for workers, and advance environmental justice.

BOLD ACTIONS TWO MONTHS INTO 2022

As the President works with Congress to deliver on this legislative agenda, he will continue taking decisive and bold action—building on the surge of momentum he has spearheaded to tackle the climate crisis. During just the first two months of 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration:

  • Announced actions from seven agencies on clean energy deployment, including new investments and partnerships to advance offshore wind; steps to fast-track solar, onshore wind, and geothermal energy on public lands; and the “Building a Better Grid” initiative to build out long-distance transmission lines and unlock clean energy resources.
     
  • Launched the Building Performance Standards Coalition with more than 30 state and local governments to reduce emissions, create good-paying union jobs in energy efficiency and electrification, and lower energy bills, with federal assistance for policy design and implementation.
     
  • Built on the Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan by announcing an initial $1.15 billion to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells, $725 million to reclaim abandoned mine lands, a new interagency initiative on measurement and monitoring of methane and other greenhouse emissions, enforcement efforts to minimize methane emissions from pipeline systems, and more. 
     
  • Advanced America’s electric vehicle future, standing with CEOs to announce new manufacturing facilities for electric vehicles, batteries, and chargers and issuing state allocations and guidance for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
     
  • Convened a roundtable of electric utility CEOs to discuss their support for Congressional investments in clean energy to reduce costs for families, make the power grid more resilient and reliable, and advance American innovation, job creation, and economic competitiveness.
     
  • Took major steps to reduce industrial emissions and advance clean manufacturing, including clean hydrogen investments, the first Buy Clean Task Force for federal purchasing of low-carbon construction materials, progress on carbon-based trade policies to reward clean steel and aluminum manufacturing, guidance on responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration technologies, and new initiatives to ensure that industrial innovation benefits American workers and communities.
     
  • Released the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool for public feedback, to help agencies deliver benefits to disadvantaged communities and fulfill the President’s Justice40 commitment.
     
  • Announced major investments to secure a Made in America supply chain for critical minerals and sustainably source key inputs (including lithium and rare earth elements) for clean energy technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels. This includes taking action to update outdated mining regulations and laws to ensure that extraction and production adheres to strong environmental, labor, and community and Tribal engagement standards.
     
  • Released America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition, a first-of-its-kind energy sector industrial base strategy, which includes the creation of a new Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains Office at the Department of Energy to strengthen, secure, and modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and support clean energy manufacturing jobs.
     
  • Held a record-shattering offshore wind auction in the New York Bight, with winning bids for six lease areas totaling $4.37 billion, signaling the arrival of a strong American industry that’s here to stay. Innovative lease stipulations will promote projects built with union labor and Made in America materials, and these projects will generate clean electricity to power millions of homes.

HISTORIC YEAR OF PROGRESS
This wave of climate action to kick off 2022 builds on historic progress President Biden achieved during his first year in office, when he:

Established whole-of-government initiatives to: lead by example across the federal vehicle fleet, buildings, and procurement; conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030; and build resilience to extreme heatdroughtwildfiresfloods, and coastal impacts.

Biden-Harris Administration Sets Offshore Energy Records with $4.37 Billion in Winning Bids for Wind Sale

New York Bight lease sale has potential to power nearly two million homes

Republicans like Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is seeking to take over as Governor of New York, are still wedded to fossil fuels and determined if they regain control, to reverse course on efforts to transition to a clean renewable energy economy, society, and environment and stem the tide of climate change. This was clear when Zeldin chided President Joe Biden at a pro-Ukraine rally in Long Island for canceling the Keystone Pipeline, which he somehow suggested would have countered impact of sanctions against Nordstrom 2.

But even as Biden leads a global alliance to counter Putin’s criminal aggression against Ukraine, and makes a historic nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, makes historic investments in infrastructure to clean up the environment, develop the economy, promote competition and address supply chain issues, his administration is forging ahead with historic climate actions. In the latest, the administration reports setting records for offshore energy development with $4.37 billion in winning bids for wind sale.

Of course, the correct answer to reducing dependency on fossil fuel is what the Biden-Harris Administration is doing: transitioning to clean, renewable energy that can be generated in localities, so less vulnerable to geopolitics and cyberattacks.

This is from the Department of the Interior:

Long Island climate activists raise a wind turbine outside Long Island Power Authority’s offices back in 2016 (c) Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior announced the results of the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale in history, including oil and gas lease sales, with the New York Bight offshore wind sale. These results are a major milestone towards achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of reaching 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. Today’s lease sale offered six lease areas totaling over 488,000 acres in the New York Bight for potential wind energy development and drew competitive winning bids from six companies totaling approximately $4.37 billion.

A recent report indicates that the United States’ growing offshore wind energy industry presents a $109 billion revenue opportunity to businesses in the supply chain over the next decade.

“This week’s offshore wind sale makes one thing clear: the enthusiasm for the clean energy economy is undeniable and it’s here to stay,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “The investments we are seeing today will play an important role in delivering on the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis and create thousands of good-paying, union jobs across the nation.”

The provisional winners of today’s lease sale are:

Provisional Winner Lease Area Acres Winning Bid 
OW Ocean Winds East, LLC OCS-A 0537 71,522 $765,000,000 
Attentive Energy LLC OCS-A 0538 84,332 $795,000,000 
Bight Wind Holdings, LLC OCS-A 0539 125,964 $1,100,000,000 
Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Bight, LLC OCS-A 0541 79,351 $780,000,000 
Invenergy Wind Offshore LLC OCS-A 0542 83,976 $645,000,000 
Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind LLC OCS-A 0544 43,056 $285,000,000 

A map of the lease areas auctioned today can be found on the BOEM website.

Before the leases are finalized, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will conduct an anti-competitiveness review of the auction, and the provisional winners will be required to pay the winning bids and provide financial assurance to Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The New York Bight offshore wind leases include innovative stipulations designed to promote the development of a robust domestic U.S. supply chain for offshore wind energy and enhance engagement with Tribes, the commercial fishing industry, other ocean users and underserved communities. The stipulations will also advance flexibility in transmission planning. Stipulations include incentives to source major components domestically – such as blades, turbines and foundations – and to enter into project labor agreements to ensure projects are union-built.

“We must have a robust and resilient domestic offshore wind supply chain to deliver good-paying, union jobs and the economic benefits to residents in the region,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “Because we understand the value of meaningful community engagement, we are requiring lessees to report their engagement activities to BOEM, specifically noting how they’re incorporating any feedback into their future plans.”

On Jan. 12, Secretary Haaland, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a shared vision for developing a robust offshore wind energy domestic supply chain that will deliver benefits to residents of New York and New Jersey and the surrounding region, including underserved communities. This collaboration will serve as a model for future engagement and establish the U.S. as a major player in the global offshore wind energy market.

To advance the Interior Department’s environmental justice and economic empowerment goals, lessees will be required to identify and make efforts to engage with Tribes, underserved communities, and other ocean users who could be affected by offshore wind energy development. The Department will hold companies accountable for improving their engagement, communication and transparency with these communities.

These additions are intended to promote offshore wind energy development in a way that coexists with other ocean uses and protects the ocean environment, while also securing our nation’s energy future for generations to come.
BOEM initially asked for information and nominations of commercial interest on 1.7 million acres in the New York Bight. Based on BOEM’s review of scientific data and extensive input from the commercial fishing industry, Tribes, partnering agencies, key stakeholders, and the public, BOEM reduced the acreage offered for lease by 72% to avoid conflicts with ocean users and minimize environmental impacts. BOEM will continue to engage with the public, ocean users, and key stakeholders as the process unfolds.

The Administration has already made significant progress toward creating a pipeline of projects. It has approved and celebrated the groundbreaking of the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters: the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project and the 130-megawatt South Fork Wind project. BOEM expects to review at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which would represent more than 22 GW of clean energy for the nation.

In addition, this past fall Secretary Haaland announced a new leasing path forward, which identified up to seven potential lease sales by 2025, including the New York Bight and offshore the Carolinas and California later this year, to be followed by lease sales for the Central Atlantic, Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Mexico, and offshore Oregon.

More information about today’s auction can be found on BOEM’s website.

Biden-Harris Administration Advances Cleaner Industrial Sector to Reduce Emissions and Reinvigorate American Manufacturing

New Pro-Climate, Pro-Worker Actions Create Jobs and Harness the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Federal Purchasing Power, and Trade Policy

The Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions across agencies to support American leadership on clean manufacturing—including low-carbon production of the steel and aluminum needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and the clean concrete needed to upgrade our transportation infrastructure, like New York City’s rebuilt Moynihan Station. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

We publish these fact sheets – long, detailed –  from the White House to counter the disinformation that the Biden Administration “isn’t doing anything”- especially on the issues that matter most to progressives, like climate action, jobs, workers rights and income growth aimed at reducing the enormous wealth gap. In fact, on almost a daily basis, the administration – without the help of a paralyzed, dysfunctional Congress – is accomplishing significant reforms and innovations to benefit the daily lives of Americans.- Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions across agencies to support American leadership on clean manufacturing—including low-carbon production of the steel and aluminum we need for electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and the clean concrete we need to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. These actions will create more good-paying jobs and follow on a historic comeback for American factories, with 367,000 manufacturing jobs added during President Biden’s first year in office, the most in nearly 30 years. Further strengthening our industrial base will revitalize local economies, lower prices for consumers, provide more pathways to the middle class through union jobs, and boost American competitiveness in global markets. 
 
The industrial sector is also central to tackling the climate crisis, as it is currently responsible for nearly a third of domestic greenhouse gas emissions. By helping manufacturers use clean energy, efficiency upgrades, and other innovative technologies to reduce emissions, the Administration is supporting cleaner industry that can produce the next generation of products and materials for a net-zero economy. These same manufacturing improvements will also protect public health, by reducing releases of air and water pollutants and toxic materials that disproportionately harm low-income households and communities of color.
 
Today’s announcements will clean up industrial processes that have long been challenging sources of pollution; create good-paying, union jobs across American manufacturing; and use domestic procurement and global trade policy to reward clean, American-made materials:

  • The Department of Energy is launching major clean hydrogen initiatives of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will create jobs to expand use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond; $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce costs of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and strong domestic supply chains.
     
  • The Council on Environmental Quality and White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy are establishing the first-ever Buy Clean Task Force, which will harness the federal government’s massive purchasing power to support low-carbon materials made in American factories. The General Services Administration and the Department of Transportation are also announcing new efforts to promote use of low-carbon materials in construction projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the State Department and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate are securing corporate purchasing commitments for low-carbon materials and technologies through the First Movers Coalition.
     
  • The Administration is advancing carbon-based trade policies to reward American manufacturers of clean steel and aluminum. Working with the European Union, the Administration is taking steps to align global trade with climate goals, which will keep out dirty products and result in more jobs and lower prices for Americans.
     
  • The Council on Environmental Quality is issuing new guidance on responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies that can reduce emissions from heavy industry and help us achieve a net-zero economy. This guidance will support CCUS projects that create union jobs and protect communities from cumulative pollution impacts. Actions by agencies will incorporate environmental justice considerations across CCUS activities. 
     
  • To equitably advance innovation across the entire sector, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is launching a new Initiative for Interdisciplinary Industrial Decarbonization Research with a focus on benefitting American workers and communities. The Department of Energy is working to establish the Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee (ITIAC) to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders charged with creating a comprehensive strategy to lower the carbon footprint of America’s industrial base.

These actions and continued implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will reduce climate pollution from industrial facilities, while growing the economy and creating jobs in producing clean materials—which customers around the world are increasingly demanding.
 
With a strong foundation in place from today’s announcements, the President’s Build Back Better agenda will further boost clean manufacturing and American competitiveness for decades to come, by supporting low-carbon processes across our industrial base; driving long-term investment in our clean steel, cement, and aluminum industries; and increasing domestic production of electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and more. Earlier this month, the House passed the America COMPETES Act, which would strengthen supply chains, lower prices, and create more manufacturing jobs, while decarbonizing the industrial sector—including through a $250 million Regional Clean Energy Innovation Program and new programs to decarbonize American steel.

Specifically, today the Administration is announcing new efforts on:
 
Accelerating Clean Hydrogen
 
Clean hydrogen can reduce emissions in many sectors of the economy, and is especially important for hard-to-decarbonize sectors and industrial processes, such as steel manufacturing. But clean hydrogen is not yet in widespread use. Targeted investments can help reduce costs, make new breakthroughs, and create jobs for American engineers, factory workers, construction workers, and others.   
 
To seize those opportunities, today the Department of Energy (DOE) is launching three major new initiatives of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by issuing Requests for Information:

  • $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs: DOE will support development of networks of clean hydrogen producers, potential consumers, and connective infrastructure. These regional hubs will advance the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen, including innovative uses in the industrial sector. DOE will prioritize hubs that can provide significant training and long-term job opportunities for residents of the region.
     
  • $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program: Electrolysis (using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen) allows for clean hydrogen production from carbon pollution-free power sources like wind, solar, and nuclear. This program will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these technologies, by supporting the entire innovation chain—from research, development, and demonstration to commercialization, and deployment.
     
  • $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling RD&D Activities: DOE will also support American manufacturing of clean hydrogen equipment, including projects that improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness and support domestic supply chains for key components, through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing Initiative. DOE is also launching Clean Hydrogen Technology Recycling Research, Development, and Demonstration activities, to fund innovative approaches to increase the reuse and recycling of clean hydrogen technologies.

These Requests for Information will gather feedback from stakeholders and communities on future implementation and priorities for DOE to consider as it moves forward with maximizing the benefits of the historic clean hydrogen programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
 
To further support DOE’s Hydrogen Shot to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 for one kilogram in one decade, last week DOE announced $28 million for R&D and front-end engineering design projects to advance clean hydrogen in industrial uses, as well as the transportation and electricity sectors. DOE’s new H2 Matchmaker resource is helping clean hydrogen producers, end-users, and others find opportunities to develop networks of production, storage, and transportation infrastructure. H2 Matchmaker displays a map using information received through an online form, which stakeholders can use to connect with others nearby.
 
The Administration’s Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization is bringing together stakeholders from across the private sector, philanthropy, labor, and community-based organizations to catalyze new job opportunities for energy communities, including in clean hydrogen. For example, a December roundtable included discussion of efforts to reduce emissions and create jobs in the South Louisiana industrial corridor. The region is a finalist in the Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. An initial grant will help them continue to plan their clean hydrogen cluster, and they are eligible to apply for a Phase 2 implementation grant.
 
Launching “Buy Clean” Procurement

The federal government is the largest purchaser in the world, with annual purchasing power of over $650 billion. To harness that power to support low-carbon, made in America materials, the Council on Environmental Quality and White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy are establishing the first-ever Buy Clean Task Force. As directed by the President’s December 2021executive order on federal sustainability, the Task Force will promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions and pollutants across their lifecycle—including each stage of the manufacturing process.

Other members include the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; the General Services Administration; and the White House Office of Management and Budget. The Task Force, which will continue to expand, is convening to develop recommendations on:

  • Identifying materials, such as steel and concrete, as well as pollutants to prioritize for consideration in Federal procurement and federally funded projects
  • Increasing the transparency of embodied emissions through supplier reporting, including incentives and technical assistance to help domestic manufacturers better report and reduce embodied emissions
  • Launching pilot programs to boost federal procurement of clean construction materials 

With the Buy Clean Task Force now established, the federal government is at the leading edge of using public procurement to increase demand for cleanly manufactured materials, along with states including California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, and Washington.

Buy Clean efforts are already well underway at the General Services Administration (GSA), which manages a nationwide federal real estate portfolio and oversees approximately $75 billion in annual contracts. Over the past year, GSA has actively engaged stakeholders to learn and adopt best practices for reducing embodied emissions of buildings and materials. Today, GSA is issuing Requests for Information (RFIs) focused on concrete and asphalt. In the coming weeks, GSA will use the RFI responses to shape the launch of national low-carbon concrete and sustainable asphalt standards for Land Port of Entry projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This groundbreaking effort may include requiring Environmental Product Declarations (disclosing lifecycle impacts) and the use of concrete with at least 20% lower global warming potential, whenever available.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is announcing new efforts to support use of low-carbon materials in federal transportation projects. A new pilot program will target key products and services to increase use of Environmental Product Declarations and incentivize acquisition of low-carbon materials. Additionally, DOT is standing up a Department-wide Embodied Carbon Working Group to assess and implement actions to reduce lifecycle emissions of construction materials used in transportation infrastructure.

The Administration is also bringing together large corporate purchasers to Buy Clean. At COP26, President Biden launched the First Movers Coalition, with 34 companies valued at $6 trillion—the biggest demand signal in history for innovation across hard-to-abate sectors, including heavy industry. Led by the State Department through the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the World Economic Forum, and supported by the Departments of Commerce and Energy, the First Movers Coalition is making clean purchasing commitments, beginning with steel, shipping, trucking, and aviation. Today, the Administration is announcing plans to expand the First Movers Coalition to cover four additional sectors in 2022: aluminum, cement, chemicals, and carbon removal.
 
The Administration is also mobilizing investment in the production of clean technologies by the Department of Energy, including the Loan Programs Office, the Department of Commerce, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, as well as through a partnership between the First Movers Coalition and the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst. The First Movers Coalition will recruit additional companies and launch challenge competitions for suppliers to provide the breakthrough technologies that members have committed to purchase.
 
Using Trade Policy to Reward Clean Manufacturing
 
In October, the United States and the European Union announced their commitment to negotiate the world’s first emissions-based sectoral arrangement on steel and aluminum trade by 2024. Following on that announcement, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and senior White House officials are continuing to work with European Union counterparts on this unprecedented effort—never before have two global partners aligned their trade policies to confront the threats of climate change and global market distortions, ensuring that trade works to solve the challenges of the 21st century.
 
Together, the United States and European Union are working to restrict access to their markets for dirty steel and limit access to countries that dump steel in both markets, contributing to worldwide over-supply. The arrangement will be open to any interested country that wishes to join and meets criteria for restoring market orientation and reducing trade in high-emissions steel and aluminum products. It will thus drive investment in green steel and aluminum production in the United States, Europe, and around the world, ensuring a competitive U.S. steel and aluminum industry for decades to come.
 
Responsibly Advancing CCUS Technologies

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS) refers to technologies that remove carbon pollution from point sources like smokestacks, or from the ambient air, and permanently store the carbon. In factories, CCUS can reduce emissions from chemical reactions and high-temperature processes that are difficult and expensive to electrify. The best scientific analyses also find that to achieve a net-zero economy, we will need to remove carbon pollution that has already been released in the atmosphere. While CCUS can be an important tool in tackling the climate crisis, the benefits and impacts of potential projects vary significantly—requiring careful planning and oversight to ensure deployment is safe, equitable, and environmentally sound.
 
To help federal agencies advance CCUS responsibly, today the Council on Environmental Quality is issuing CCUS guidance. This guidance, called for in the bipartisan USE IT Act, builds on CEQ’s June 2021 CCUS report and addresses issues including: 

  • Sound and transparent environmental reviews for CCUS projects
  • Incorporation of environmental justice and equity considerations to protect overburdened communities from any direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts
  • Meaningful public engagement and Tribal consultations from early in the process
  • Opportunities to create good-paying, union jobs and training programs
  • Life cycle analyses of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) projects

As agencies prepare to implement more than $12 billion in CCUS investments provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this guidance will promote projects informed by community perspectives and aligned with climate, public health, and economic goals.
 
To further support responsible deployment:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is developing proposed rule revisions to strengthen the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program to improve transparency on CCUS activities. This Program collects and publishes annual greenhouse gas data from large industrial sources, and the proposed updates would add reporting requirements for direct air capture and carbon storage.
  • To train a racially diverse, highly skilled generation of engineers and scientists for carbon management roles, DOE is announcing $5 million for university training and research projects, including $2 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
  • The Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council and its member agencies are working together to facilitate collaborative CCUS project reviews.
  • The Department of the Interior is working to establish safeguards for geologic sequestration on federally managed lands and is developing new regulations for geologic sequestration in the outer continental shelf as required under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Supporting Equitable Innovation Across the Industrial Sector
 
Supporting the industrial sector to achieve net-zero emissions will provide benefits to communities across the country. To ensure that innovations in this sector meet the needs of diverse stakeholders, the Administration is launching a new Initiative for Interdisciplinary Industrial Decarbonization Research. Led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), this Initiative will bring together social scientists, engineering and physical scientists, community groups, industry, government, and other stakeholders. As a first step, OSTP is convening a workshop to get advice from social science thought leaders about the research agenda needed to support rapid, widespread industrial decarbonization. This research will help build the consensus necessary to ensure a just transition to clean industry, with new, good-paying jobs for American workers and health and economic benefits for communities.
 
To identify and catalyze the next generation of breakthroughs, DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office is launching the Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee (ITIAC). This federal advisory committee will bring together a diverse cross-section of the industrial sector to find viable decarbonization pathways that will equitably benefit the industrial workforce and surrounding communities. DOE has also issued a Request for Information on Industrial Decarbonization. This RFI will provide insights on emerging technologies for industry to demonstrate or adopt, including for clean production of iron and steel, cement, chemicals, and food and beverages. The Advanced Manufacturing Office will use this information to shape priorities for reducing industrial emissions and increasing competitiveness.
 
Additionally, DOE is helping manufacturers optimize use of energy and materials while training the workforce of the future through its Industrial Assessment Centers—which provide no-cost energy assessments conducted by university-based teams of engineering students and faculty. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE will expand the Industrial Assessment Centers program by offering specialized training to staff and students and increasing access to innovation and workforce development opportunities, particularly in disadvantaged communities. These actions build on a year of progress—in 2021, DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office invested more than $332 million in industrial technical assistance, education and workforce development, and R&D at every stage of the supply chain.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also partnering with manufacturers through the ENERGY STAR program, which challenges and supports industrial plants in improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. EPA is now expanding ENERGY STAR by incorporating carbon intensity metrics for certain industries. Going forward, EPA will continue to increase ENERGY STAR’s focus on ambitious emissions reductions that support net-zero goals across the industrial sector.

FACTS: A Year Advancing Environmental Justice by the Biden Administration

White House Marks Year of Progress Since President Biden Activated All of Government to Advance Environmental Justice

Neighborhood of Breezy Point, on Long Island’s south shore, after Superstorm Sandy. President biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural infrastructure in American history. The law invests over $50 billion to make communities safer and infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change – droughts, heat waves, wildfires and floods – which disproportionately impact communities of color. These investments have already begun flowing to resilience projects in underserved and overburdened communities. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

You wouldn’t believe it from the obsessive focus of media – especially right wing media – on griping over inflation in prices over supply chain and increased demand (instead of higher wages and record jobs creation) and the inability to surmount the Republican obstruction over Build Back Better and Voting Rights legislation, but the Biden Administration has chalked up quite a record of progress in major issues, chief among them climate action and environmental justice. Here is a fact sheet from the White House:

Nearly one year ago on January 27, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, laying the foundation for the most ambitious environmental justice agenda ever undertaken by an Administration and putting environmental justice and climate action at the center of the federal government’s work.

The executive order formalized the President and the Vice President’s commitment to ensuring that all federal agencies develop programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse health, environmental, economic, climate, and other cumulative impacts on communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

Over the past year, senior administration leaders have worked tirelessly to secure historic and long overdue investments in environmental justice, advance science-based regulations that reduce environmental pollution, strengthen enforcement of the nation’s environmental and civil rights laws, and elevate the voices of environmental justice communities in the White House and throughout the Administration.

Mobilizing a Whole-of-Government Approach to Environmental Justice

  • Delivering on Justice40. As part of the President’s historic commitment to environmental justice, he created the Justice40 Initiative to ensure that federal agencies deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to underserved communities. In total, hundreds of federal programs, representing billions of dollars in annual investment — including programs that were funded or created in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — are being reimagined and transformed to maximize benefits to disadvantaged communities through the Justice40 Initiative. An initial cohort of Justice40 pilot programs are already working to maximize the delivery of benefits to disadvantaged communities, and some agencies are creating new programs to maximize the benefits of climate and clean energy programs directed to disadvantaged communities, such as the Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program) Pilot, the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize, and the Energy Storage for Social Equity Initiative. An annual Federal environmental justice scorecard, the first of which will be published this year, will report on agencies’ progress in the implementation of the Justice40 Initiative and other key environmental justice priorities and commitments.
     
  • Building a Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. This screening tool, which will be continuously updated and refined based on public feedback and research, will improve the consistency across the federal government of how agencies implement programs and initiatives that are intended to benefit underserved communities. A beta version of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool will be released for public review and comment early this year.
     
  • Establishing the First-Ever White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. This advisory body – which brings together national environmental justice leaders from across the country – ensures that the voices of overburdened and underserved communities are heard in the White House and reflected in the policies and investments of federal agencies. This body has provided extensive  recommendations that are informing the implementation of the Justice40 Initiative, the development of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, and other policies and programs across the Administration.
     
  • Renewing Focus on Environmental Equity and Justice across the Federal Government.  Agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Department of Labor, the General Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have launched new or strengthened equity and justice offices, task forces, strategies and policies. USDA, for example, is standing up an independent Equity Commission to examine USDA programs to identify and make recommendations for how USDA can reduce barriers to access and advance equity. The Commission will also ensure accountability within and empower stakeholders in underserved communities outside of USDA to take fuller advantage of the department’s programs and services. To coordinate, lead, and elevate environmental justice policy and implementation across the government, the Administration has also established the White House Environmental Interagency Council led by Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory.

 
Protecting Communities from Toxic Pollution

  • Advancing an Ambitious Regulatory Agenda. Over the last year, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken more than 200 actions to repair the damage caused by the prior Administration’s rollbacks and implemented an ambitious regulatory agenda to address environmental justice. From revoking usage of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that has negative health impacts on farmworkers and children, to taking action on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a dangerous “forever chemical” linked to certain cancers, weakened immunity, thyroid disease, and other health effects – this Administration has prioritized rulemakings that protect the health and well-being of vulnerable communities. The President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children is also leading and coordinating cross-agency work to reduce pollution burdens and exposures, including lead exposure and asthma disparities in children of color.
     
  • Strengthening Enforcement of Environmental Laws. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken steps to enhance civil and criminal enforcement of environmental violations in communities overburdened by pollution. The EPA, for example, has taken steps to initiate early and expedited cleanup actions, deliver case outcomes that bring tangible benefits to overburdened communities, provide more robust monitoring and transparency tools, and bolster community engagement. The President’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the Department of Justice includes $5.0 million in increased funding for the Environment and Natural Resources Division to expand its use of existing authorities in affirmative cases to advance environmental justice and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change and to continue defensive and other work related to climate change.
     
  • Journey to Justice Tour. In November 2021, EPA Administrator Michael Regan embarked on a “Journey to Justice” tour, traveling to Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas to spotlight longstanding environmental justice concerns in historically overburdened communities and to hear firsthand from residents dealing with the impacts of pollution. Today, EPA is announcing a series of concrete actions to respond to the communities’ concerns, including more community air pollution monitoring, fenceline monitoring, inspections, and funding commitments.
     
  • Addressing Legacy Pollution. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivers the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history. The law will invest $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine lands, and cap orphaned oil and gas wells that are sources of blight and pollution. These investments are happening now. EPA recently announced a historic $1 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to initiate cleanup at 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country. Approximately 60 percent of the sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects are in historically underserved communities.

Recognizing that millions of Americans live within a mile of one of the tens of thousands of abandoned mines and oil and gas wells across the country, DOI is working to speed the deployment of initial grants from the law’s $16 billion in funding for mine and well clean-ups. DOI recently released initial guidance for states interested in applying for Federal grants that will fund the proper cleanup of orphaned oil and gas wells and well sites, with 26 states responding to express their intent to apply for formula grant funding.

  • Investing in Clean Drinking Water. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will expand access to clean drinking water to all American families, eliminate the nation’s lead service lines, and help to clean up dangerous PFAS chemicals. Specifically, the law will invest $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for households, businesses, schools, and child care centers all across the country, including in Tribal Nations and rural disadvantaged communities that need it most. These investments will be guided by the Biden-Harris Administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, a historic and ambitious effort to deploy catalytic resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law while leveraging every tool across Federal, state, and local government to deliver clean drinking water, replace lead pipes, and remediate lead paint. The plan includes over 15 new actions from more than 10 Federal agencies to ensure the Federal government is marshalling every resource and making rapid progress towards replacing all lead pipes in the next decade. The White House also has developed a whole-of government research plan on contaminants of emerging concern in drinking water that will support safe drinking water advisories, standards, and mitigation efforts that protect public health.
     
  • Improving Air Quality. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken decisive action to improve air quality – especially in disadvantaged communities. EPA has initiated rulemakings to reduce harmful air pollutants from heavy-duty trucks that heavily impact low-income communities and communities of color. EPA has also targeted leaded fuel used in small planes, which contributes to air pollution and accounts for 70 percent of lead borne emissions. In December 2021, EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation launched a $20 million grant competition that calls for proposals to conduct air pollution monitoring in communities experiencing disparities in health outcomes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on behalf of DOT, is proposing revised fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2024-2026; DOT estimates that this would increase the average fleet’s fuel efficiency by 12 miles per gallon by model year 2026.  In addition, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $17 billion in modernizing ports and waterways, including funds that will support electrification of port infrastructure and provides the investment needed to deliver thousands of clean school buses to help reduce harmful environmental impacts on communities on the fence line of industry and transportation corridors. The law also provides a $5 billion investment in electric vehicles that will support the deployment of an equitable nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers.

Strengthening Resilience to Extreme Weather and Climate Change

  • Investing in Community Resilience. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural infrastructure in American history. The law invests over $50 billion to make communities safer and infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change – droughts, heat waves, wildfires and floods – which disproportionately impact communities of color. These investments have already begun flowing to resilience projects in underserved and overburdened communities, including a $163 million investment to restore the Cano Martin Pena urban tidal channel and surrounding areas of the San Juan Bay National Estuary – an urban waterway project that will significantly improve the health and welfare of the surrounding communities in San Juan. In the coming year, the Army Corps will also engage with environmental justice communities in the development of a strategy to allocate $130 million for two pilot programs that target the needs of economically-disadvantaged communities.
     
  • Building a Coordinated Federal Response to Climate Impacts. To address the multi-faceted nature of climate change and its impact on frontline communities, the Biden-Harris Administration launched five cabinet secretary level Resilience Interagency Working Groups under the National Climate Task Force focused on coastal resilience, drought, extreme heat, flood, and wildfire. These Working Groups are tasked with recommending and coordinating actions, programs, and resources to mitigate climate impacts and subsequent recovery challenges that are often felt most heavily by underserved and overburdened communities. For example, the Extreme Heat Working Group was responsible for launching a coordinated, interagency effort to address extreme heat – including the first-ever employer mandates on heat risk –  to respond to extreme heat that threatens the lives and livelihoods of Americans, especially frontline and essential workers, pregnant workers, children, seniors, economically disadvantaged groups and those with underlying health conditions.
     
  • Advancing Equitable Outcomes for Disaster Survivors. Pursuant to Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through the Federal Government, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) evaluated the equity of its programs and processes to reduce barriers to access experienced by underserved populations through programs that provide individual assistance to disaster survivors. Based on this review, FEMA has begun to amend its policies to provide greater flexibility and increase access to assistance for disaster survivors. The policy changes that FEMA is implementing include: expanding the types of documentation that homeowners and renters can use to prove ownership or occupancy; expanding financial assistance for home cleaning and sanitizing as well as for disaster-caused disability; and changing how the threshold for property losses are calculated to qualify for direct housing assistance, which helps ensure that damage evaluations are done in an equitable manner regardless of the size of the damaged home. As of mid-January 2021, these changes have resulted in the delivery of more than $120 million in financial assistance for mold remediation; $22 million for the cleaning and sanitization of homes; and more than 100,000 survivors receiving home repair and rental assistance as a result of expanded ownership and occupancy documentation requirements.  
     
  • Bolstering Tribal Community Resilience. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes historic investments in Indigenous communities’ efforts to tackle the climate crisis and boost the resilience of physical and natural systems. Enabled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Administration recently committed $40 million to the Espanola Valley, Rio Grande and Tributaries, New Mexico to restore and protect 958 acres of aquatic and riparian habitats that are an integral part of constructing social identity and transmission and retention of traditional knowledge for both the Pueblo of Santa Clara and Ohkay Owingeh. As part of this broader commitment to Tribal community resilience, DOI also recently awarded nearly $14 million to dozens of American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Nations and organizations to support their climate adaptation planning, ocean and coastal management planning, capacity building, and relocation, managed retreat, and protect-in-place planning for climate risks. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has invited Tribal leaders to consult on the agency’s implementation of its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, including $400 million to enhance fish passage (of which up to 15 percent will go directly to Tribes), $492 million to improve and restore natural infrastructure through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, and $172 million to support recovery of Pacific coastal salmon. Further, the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget includes an increase of more than $450 million to facilitate climate mitigation, resilience, adaptation, and environmental justice projects in Indian Country. This includes investments to begin the process of transitioning Tribal colleges to renewable energy through DOE, and a new Indian Land Consolidation Program through DOI that will enhance the ability of Tribal Nations to plan for and adapt to climate change and promote economic development on lands restored to Tribal ownership.
     
  • Empowering Communities with Actionable Climate Data. The Biden-Harris Administration launched a whole-of-government initiative to deliver accessible and actionable information to individuals and communities that are being hit by flooding, drought, wildfires, extreme heat, coastal erosion, and other intensifying climate impacts. This effort is designed to put authoritative and useful information into the hands of more Americans—from broadcast meteorologists sharing climate information with communities, to farmers checking drought outlooks, to businesses planning for extreme weather, to families making decisions about their homes and neighborhoods. By continuing to strengthen partnerships with community stakeholders, state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, and businesses, the Biden-Harris Administration will ensure that Federal information services respond to evolving needs, particularly those of disadvantaged communities.

 
Delivering Clean, Affordable Energy

  • Lowering Energy Burdens. The Biden-Harris Administration has provided $8.2 billion in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds to States, Territories, Tribes, and Tribal Organizations, including $4.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Combined, these funds more than doubled the typical annual appropriations—the largest increase in the program’s history—to assist low-income households with meeting their home energy needs. HHS followed this with guidance providing flexible options for states, territories, Tribes, and Tribal organizations to adjust their LIHEAP programs to address extreme heat. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law doubles down on the Administration’s commitment to lowering energy burdens by investing: an additional $500 million in LIHEAP, which will prioritize eligible households with young children, the elderly, and people with disabilities; and a historic $3.5 billion in the Weatherization Assistance Program, reducing energy costs for more than 700,000 low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring health and safety and creating jobs.
     
  • Increasing Access to Clean Energy. The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized the deployment of distributed and community scale energy resources in the underserved and overburdened communities that need them most. The Department of Agriculture launched the Rural Energy Pilot Program with $10 million in available grants for rural communities that are particularly underserved to deploy community-scale clean energy technologies, innovations, and solutions. DOE launched the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) tool, an online platform that enables jurisdictions to rapidly approve residential solar installation permits. EPA launched new residential sector partnerships to accelerate efficiency and electrification retrofits with a focus on underserved residential households through its ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade Program. To coordinate these interagency actions, the Biden-Harris Administration launched a Distributed Energy Resources Working Group under the National Climate Task Force focused specifically on accelerating deployment of distributed energy resources in disadvantaged communities.
     
  • Modernizing the Grid. FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are working collaboratively with the government of Puerto Rico to administer over $12 billion of Federal recovery funds earmarked for rebuilding and improving Puerto Rico’s grid. These funds are being used to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and support initiatives in Puerto Rico that focus on mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. DOE and FEMA have also launched a comprehensive study to evaluate pathways to meeting Puerto Rico’s 100 percent renewable energy targets in a way that achieves both short-term recovery goals and long-term energy resilience. The study, titled PR100, will be grounded in a commitment to environmental and energy justice and informed by extensive engagement with Puerto Rico stakeholders to reflect the island’s diverse priorities.

 
Enabling Equitable and Sustainable Communities

  • Increasing Affordable Transportation Options. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expands access to public transit and makes the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak – a major investment in transit equity. The law will invest $66 billion to provide healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans by modernizing and expanding rail networks across the country. The law also provides $1.2 billion annually through the Safe Streets and Roads for All program to fund Vision Zero plans and construct projects that will prevent transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries, which disproportionately impact rural communities and communities of color.  To ensure these funds facilitate equitable outcomes, DOT has solicited input from stakeholders on the data and assessment tools available to assess transportation equity.  The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes investments for a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic transportation investments and ensure new projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access. DOT also requested $110 million in its Fiscal Year 22 budget to create a new Thriving Communities program that would establish a new office to support communities with eliminating persistent transportation barriers and increasing access to jobs, school, and businesses.
     
  • Tackling Segregation, Discrimination, and Exclusion. The Biden-Harris Administration has restored the implementation of the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” requirement, which requires HUD and its funding recipients, such as local communities, to take affirmative steps to remedy fair housing issues such as racially segregated neighborhoods, lack of housing choice, and unequal access to housing-related opportunities. HUD anticipates issuing a proposed rule that would help recipients of HUD funding identify needs and take meaningful actions to overcome patterns of residential segregation. To increase access to affordable housing, DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of approximately $10 million in competitive grant funds for FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning. The funds will support comprehensive planning efforts that help connect communities, and improve access to public transportation and affordable housing.
     
  • Investing in Healthy Housing and Buildings. The American Rescue Plan provided State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds that dozens of states and cities have used to develop and preserve affordable housing, as well as support for Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions that provide housing finance. Last week, the President launched the National Building Performance Standards Coalition to work with stakeholders, especially frontline communities, to address health, energy affordability, and emissions reductions goals across the buildings sector. Coalition members have agreed to ground their climate work in equity and justice through community-driven processes providing a voice for communities that were previously not invited to the table. These efforts will be bolstered by the more than $1.8 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support building sector policies, including $500 million for DOE’s State Energy Program, which provides funding and technical assistance to state, local, and Tribal governments to advance state-led energy initiatives; $550 million for DOE’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant program to assist eligible governments to develop, promote, implement, and manage energy efficiency and conservation policy and projects in their jurisdiction; $250 million for grants to capitalize state-level revolving loan funds for energy efficiency; and $500 million for competitive grants to fund efficiency and renewable improvements in public school facilities.

Biden Administration Makes Historic Investment to Strengthen Port, Waterway Supply Chains, Bolster Climate Resilience

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Invest $14 Billion from President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Other Appropriations to Strengthen Port and Waterway Supply Chains and Bolster Climate Resilience
 

The Biden Administration issued a fact sheet detailing its historic $14 billion investment in the nation’s ports and waterways – funding in fiscal 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories that will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Biden Administration issued a fact sheet detailing its historic $14 billion investment in the nation’s ports and waterways – funding in fiscal 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories that will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change, and address a source of inflation while creating jobs:

Modern and resilient infrastructure strengthens our supply chains, supports U.S. competitiveness and economic growth, and protects communities from the accelerating impacts of climate change. Yet, decades of under-investment and neglect have left our nation’s infrastructure – from ports and waterways to levees and dams to the aquatic ecosystems that supply our water and energy – vulnerable to climate change and struggling to keep up with our strong economic recovery from the pandemic.
 
Recognizing the vital role of modern, resilient infrastructure in reducing costs for American families and businesses, President Biden secured unprecedented investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase climate resilience and make long overdue improvements at ports and waterways, as well as additional funds through supplemental appropriations to help impacted states and Tribes recover and become more resilient to natural disasters. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing that it will invest more than $14 billion of this funding in fiscal year 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories. These key projects will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change, including through:

  • The largest single investment ever to restore and revitalize the Everglades in Florida.
  • Expanding capacity at some of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing ports, including the Port of Long Beach.
  • Commitments to help underserved coastal communities build back more resilient from extreme weather.

A full list of projects receiving funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other appropriations can be found HERE.
 
The investments announced today further advance the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal climate and clean energy investments flow to historically marginalized, underserved, and overburdened communities to build their economies. The investments also underscore how President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering results to communities across America, advancing racial equity, combatting climate change, and creating job opportunities for American workers.
 
In just over two months since the President signed the historic legislation into law, the Administration has already mobilized resources to connect Tribal Nations to reliable, high-speed internet, replace, repair, and rehabilitate bridges across the country, upgrade critical infrastructure at 3,075 airports, update America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, pipes and service lines, stop toxic waste from harming communities, and more. With these additional investments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will initiate projects in fiscal year 2022 that:

STRENGTHEN DOMESTIC SUPPLY CHAINS

American ports and waterways are a cornerstone of the U.S. economy. According to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure Report issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in 2018, America’s ports supported more than 30 million jobs and approximately 26% of our nation’s GDP. However, decades of neglect and underinvestment have strained their capacity and jeopardized supply chains.
 
Building on the work this Administration has done this past year to get goods flowing from ships to shelves faster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is committing $4 billion through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand capacity at key ports, allow passage of larger vessels, and further enhance the country’s ability to move goods. These waterside investments will compliment landside investments at our ports and across the goods movement chain such as the Port Infrastructure Development Grants announced in December. Specific projects for fiscal year 2022 include work to:
 

  • Enhance the Country’s Ability to Move Goods. America’s waterways are vital to getting goods moving faster and more efficiently through the nation. Recognizing the role of inland waterways in creating and sustaining jobs, relieving landside congestion, and providing more cost-effective transportation capacities, the Administration will provide $858 million to support the replacement of locks that keep water levels high enough for large cargo ships to pass through the upper Ohio River, west of Pittsburgh. The Administration will also provide more than $470 million to complete construction of a new lock along St. Mary’s River in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan, which serves as a passageway for nearly all domestically-produced iron ore. These funds will build on the Department of Transportation’s recent investments to enhance the movement of goods along the nation’s navigable waterways.
     
  • Reinforce America’s Largest Port Complex. The Administration will invest $8 million to improve commercial navigation and allow larger and more ships to pass at the Port of Long Beach, California – part of the nation’s largest port complex. The investment will support design work to widen the port’s main channel, deepen the entrance channel, and build an approach channel and turning basin. It also builds on the $52 million grant the Administration previously announced to support the Port of Long Beach’s on-dock rail facility, as well as a multi-billion dollar loan agreement with California to modernize the state’s ports, freight, and other goods movement infrastructure.
     
  • Move More Goods Faster at One of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Ports. The Administration will invest $69 million to improve navigation and expand capacity at Norfolk Harbor, Virginia, which handled 67 percent more containers in 2021 than it did 10 years ago. Work will include deepening and widening the harbor’s shipping channels to improve navigation and enable safer access for larger commercial and naval vessels, and to provide significant new economic opportunities to the region.
     

BOLSTER THE NATION’S DEFENSES AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADVANCE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
 
Damage from extreme weather events and natural disasters, including those from Hurricane Ida, were estimated to cost the United States at least $141 billion in 2021, and is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. President Biden knows that down payments now to bolster the resilience of our infrastructure to climate change will save Americans money in the long run. The Biden-Harris Administration will commit $5.5 billion through the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to better protect communities from climate change, and protect vital ecosystems and the people and businesses throughout the country that rely on them.

For instance, the funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law announced today will:

  • Restore and Protect Critical Ecosystems and Water Supplies, Including the Everglades. The Administration is making the largest single investment in the Everglades in U.S. history. The iconic American landscape provides drinking water supply for over 8 million Floridians, supports the state’s $90 billion tourism economy, and is home to dozens of endangered or threatened species. However, rising sea levels and other climate change impacts are endangering this vital ecosystem and the people, businesses, and habitats it supports. Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Army Corps will invest $1.1 billion to restore, protect, and preserve the South Florida ecosystem and increase its resilience to the impacts of climate change. These funds will support improvements to the Everglades by capturing and storing excess surface water runoff, reducing excess water releases to water conservation areas, and minimizing seepage losses during dry periods.
     
  • Advance Environmental Justice. The investments announced today will further deliver on the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy flow to disadvantaged communities in building their local economies. The Administration will provide $163 million to restore the Cano Martin Pena urban tidal channel and surrounding areas of the San Juan Bay National Estuary. The urban waterway project will significantly improve the health and welfare of the surrounding communities in San Juan by reducing exposure to contaminated waters and sediments, improving water quality, and restoring fish and mangrove habitat. The Administration is also committing $40 million to the Espanola Valley, Rio Grande and Tributaries, New Mexico to restore and protect 958 acres of aquatic and riparian habitats. These habitats are critical to the functioning of the third longest river in the country, and are an integral part of constructing social identity and transmission and retention of traditional knowledge for both the Pueblo of Santa Clara and Ohkay Owingeh. In addition, the Army Corps is committing nearly $28 million to prevent coastal erosion of Kenai River Bluff in Alaska. In the coming year, the Army Corps will also engage with environmental justice communities in the development of a strategy to allocate $130 million for two pilot programs that target the needs of economically-disadvantaged communities.
     
  • Reduce Flood Risk. The Army Corps will leverage funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to increase community resilience to flooding, including $645 million to reduce coastal flood risk through 15 projects and $1.7 billion to reduce inland flood risk through an additional 15 projects across the country.  Projects include $378 million to protect people, property, and the fragile marshland in coastal Louisiana, $250 million for storm surge barriers, levees, and pump stations to reduce storm risk to the City of Norfolk, Virginia, $66 million to refurbish the levee system along the Little Colorado River outside of Winslow, Arizona in Navajo County, and $35 million in the San Joaquin River Basin to help reduce flood risk to the City of Stockton, California. As a result of Hurricane Ida, 90 percent of Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana sustained significant damages, including to five floodgates of the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection System.

In addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds announced today, the Administration will invest more than $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2022 through the Disaster Relief and Supplemental Appropriations Act to reinforce disaster mitigation and recovery efforts in communities recovering from extreme weather events, and to better enable homes and businesses to reduce their risks of climate change. This includes $3.3 billion in funding for Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, where major disasters were declared due to Hurricane Ida. In Louisiana, for instance, the Biden-Harris Administration will invest over $1.7 billion to help the state build back more resilient from extreme weather events, including through the replacement or modification of levees infrastructure on the east and west banks of Plaquemines Parish, completion of construction of the Atachafalaya Basin floodway system, and initiation construction for the Algiers sub-basin in southeast Louisiana.  
 

Biden-Harris Administration Races to Deploy Clean Energy that Creates Jobs, Lowers Costs for Consumers, Industry

New Actions Advance Offshore Wind, Leverage Public Lands for Clean Energy, and Build the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Transmission Lines
 

Long Island activists in 2016 protesting for offshore wind, solar energy projects at Long Island Power Authority headquarters. Projects put on hold during Trump administration, have now gotten back on the fast track by the Biden Administration, bringing a whole-of-government approach. The Department of the Interior is holding a record-breaking offshore wind lease sale, with the most lease areas ever offeredin the New York Bight off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. The upcoming lease sale is projected to generate up to 7 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy, power two million homes, and create thousands of jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations, maintenance, and service industries in nearby communities © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

When President Biden came into office nearly a year ago, he pulled every lever to position America to scale up clean energy that creates good-paying, union jobs and lowers energy bills for consumers. Since then, the Biden-Harris Administration has readied offshore areas to harness power from wind, approved new solar projects on public lands, and passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build thousands of miles of transmission lines that deliver clean energy.
 
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is making major leaps forward on wind, solar, transmission, and other clean energy projects to create high-quality jobs and deliver affordable, carbon pollution-free electricity across the country. Seven federal agencies are announcing clean energy projects and plans that demonstrate the Administration’s unwavering commitment to creating cleaner and cheaper energy, and the actions showcase President Biden’s unprecedented coordination activating the entire government to fight climate change, produce good-paying, union jobs, and accelerate America’s clean energy economy.
 
These actions include:

  • The Department of the Interior is holding a record-breaking offshore wind lease sale, with the most lease areas ever offered, in the New York Bight off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. The upcoming lease sale is projected to generate up to 7 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy, power two million homes, and create thousands of jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations, maintenance, and service industries in nearby communities. The sale includes innovative lease provisions that will lead to offshore wind projects being built with union labor and Made in America materials. Working together, New York, New Jersey and the federal government will build on these new lease stipulations through a new federal-state partnership that will ensure local residents—including underserved communities—benefit from new developments.
     
  • A number of agencies are working together to drive the rapid build-up of offshore wind—a brand new U.S. clean energy industry that can create nearly 80,000 good-paying jobs by 2030. For example, the Department of Transportation recently announced port investments to help develop areas that will be used to build and stage offshore wind turbine components, and efforts are underway across the Departments of Commerce, the Interior, and Energy to promote biodiversity and cooperative ocean use and support innovation across the supply chain.
     
  • The Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency are forming a new collaboration to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of reviews of clean energy projects on public lands, in order to expand solar, onshore wind, and geothermal energy, building on the Department of the Interior’s approvals over the past year of 18 onshore projects that will deliver 4.175 GW of clean energy.
     
  • The Department of Energy is launching a new Building a Better Grid initiative to accelerate the deployment of new transmission lines—as enabled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Lawto connect more Americans to cleaner, cheaper energy. This transmission buildout will make our grid more reliable and resilient in the face of intensifying extreme weather and is critical to achieving the President’s goal of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.
     
  • To ensure that these benefits reach all Americans, the Department of Agriculture is creating a new pilot program to support clean energy in underserved rural communities and the Department of Commerce is awarding American Rescue Plan funds to support regional coalitions to grow new industry clusters focused on clean energy deployment and job training. And the release of a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that the Administration’s SolarAPP+ tool is reducing permitting times for residential installations to less than one day, helping local governments fast-track rooftop solar. 

Today’s announcements build on a year of unprecedented progress on clean energy deployment. Before President Biden took office, projects were stalled and agencies were hollowed out. But during his first week, the President issued an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which mobilized the entire federal government to activate and deploy clean energy so that Americans can reap the immense climate and economic benefits of the clean energy future.
 
The Administration continues to use every tool available to deploy clean energy at a record pace. But to fully seize the opportunities of a clean energy economy, President Biden is pressing forward on passing the Build Back Better Act. The historic legislation will amount to the nation’s largest investment in combatting climate change, lowering energy costs for working families, and building a clean energy future. It will support domestic manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels, and other clean technologies; invest in workforce development programs to launch careers in these growing industries; and provide a historic set of clean energy tax credits that are more powerful and accessible. With these investments, the U.S. will lead the world on innovative climate solutions and save the average American family hundreds of dollars each year in energy costs.
 
As work continues to pass the Build Back Better Act, today’s announcements further the Administration’s ongoing commitment to powering our economy with clean American energy:
 
ADVANCING OFFSHORE WIND TO CREATE JOBS
 
To deploy offshore wind at the speed and scale necessary to achieve our climate goals and create tens of thousands of jobs, the Administration is announcing:
 

  • Record-Breaking Lease Sale in the New York Bight. Last year, the Administration established a Wind Energy Area in the New York Bight off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. Today, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is announcing the Final Sale Notice of six commercial lease areas—the most ever offered—with the potential to generate 5.6 to 7 GW of clean energy across 488,201 acres. Innovative leasing provisions will encourage winning bidders to enter into Project Labor Agreements (PLA) that support union jobs. They also will financially incentivize lessees to utilize wind turbine blades, towers, and cables made in America. To promote meaningful stakeholder engagement, lessees must identify any Tribes, ocean users, underserved communities, and others potentially affected by projects and report on engagement activities.  
     
  • New State-Federal Partnership. Today, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joined New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to celebrate progress in the New York Bight and announce a new collaboration between BOEM, New York, and New Jersey on offshore wind with a focus on job creation and environmental justice. Through a new shared vision and working group, these partners will work together on strengthening regional supply chains and delivering benefits to underserved communities.
     
  • DOT Port Investments for Manufacturing and Staging Hubs. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently awarded Port Infrastructure Development Program Grants to two hubs that will strengthen the U.S. offshore wind supply chain. In Virginia, the Portsmouth Marine Terminal will receive $20 million to construct staging and storage areas for wind turbine components—supporting union jobs for dockworkers, crane operators, and building trades members. In New York, the Port of Albany will receive $29.5 million for the Offshore Wind Tower Manufacturing Port Project, which will develop vacant areas along the Hudson River for a first-of-its-kind U.S. facility for fabrication and assembly of offshore wind towers, creating hundreds of jobs in construction, manufacturing, and maritime activities. DOT announced in March 2021 that this discretionary port funding would be available to support offshore wind activities, and that climate and environmental justice considerations would factor into the review process. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law significantly increases funding for the Port Infrastructure Development Program Grants to expand federal investments in ports.
     
  • Funding for Innovative Supply Chain and Maintenance Projects. The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium is awarding over $3 million to six offshore wind R&D projects, bringing total investment through NOWRDC over the past year to $14 million. The competitive awards will fund three new supply chain projects to facilitate U.S. manufacturing, ensure quality component production, and simplify transportation of major wind plant components. Three additional projects will support asset monitoring and inspection to reduce operational costs for offshore wind farms. The NOWRDC was established in 2018 with a $20.5 million Department of Energy (DOE) investment and matching funds from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), with follow-on contributions from state agencies in Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Jersey—all resulting in approximately $48 million in committed funds.
     
  • NOAA-BOEM Memorandum of Understanding. The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and BOEM are entering an interagency agreement to collaboratively advance offshore wind energy while protecting biodiversity and promoting cooperative ocean use. This partnership underscores NOAA and BOEM’s commitment to leverage their resources and expertise to responsibly deploy 30 GW by 2030 in a way that protects environmental quality, creates jobs, and advances environmental justice.
     
  • DOE Report Underscoring Need for Continued Offshore Wind Investment. The Department of Energy will be issuing a report on “Offshore Wind Energy Strategies: Regional and National Strategies to Maximize the Effectiveness, Reliability, and Sustainability of U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Development and Operation.” It outlines five strategic priorities for tapping into the enormous potential for growth and job creation in the offshore wind industry: expanding targeted federal incentives, reducing costs through innovation, improving siting and permitting processes, investing in supply chain development, and facilitating grid integration of offshore wind projects. The President’s Build Back Better Act would advance these priorities with expanded investment and production tax credits for offshore wind deployment, advanced manufacturing credits to incentivize Made in America wind turbine components, and investments across transmission planning, port infrastructure, and improved leasing and permitting processes.

These actions follow a year of interagency collaboration to jumpstart the U.S. offshore wind industry—in 2021, the Administration: 

  • Launched an offshore wind strategy to achieve a new national target of deploying 30 GW by 2030 and create jobs up and down the supply chain, from factories in the heartland to shipyards on the coasts.
     
  • Approved the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects, Vineyard Wind 1 and South Fork Wind, which will be built by a highly skilled, well-paid union workforce. 
     
  • Developed a roadmap for holding seven offshore wind lease sales and completing reviews of 16 multi-billion dollar offshore wind projects—representing 22 GW of clean energy—by 2025.

Moving ahead in 2022, BOEM will conduct reviews of wind energy areas offshore northern California (Humboldt) and central California (Morro Bay); explore new potential Wind Energy Areas in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of Oregon and the central Atlantic; and advance lease sales in the Carolina Long Bay and offshore California.
 
FAST-TRACKING CLEAN ENERGY ONSHORE

America’s public lands have substantial potential to support solar, wind, and geothermal energy projects. As part of ongoing efforts to advance these projects in an environmentally sound way and in close collaboration with community stakeholders, the Administration is announcing:

  • Five-Agency Collaboration to Expedite Reviews. The Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency have issued a new Memorandum of Understanding to improve federal agency coordination and prioritize reviews for renewable energy projects located on public lands managed by the Interior and Agriculture Departments. This collaboration will expedite decision-making by establishing interagency coordination teams with qualified staff to facilitate environmental reviews and other federal reviews.
     
  • Renewable Energy Coordination Offices. The Department of the Interior is developing plans for new Renewable Energy Coordination Offices (RECOs), authorized by the Energy Act of 2020. The RECOs will realign Bureau of Land Management resources to consolidate renewable energy work, and support collaboration on public lands renewable energy project permitting across Interior and other federal agencies.
     
  • Major Progress toward 25 GW by 2025. Since President Biden took office, the Administration has approved 18 onshore projects totaling 4.175 GW (including eight located on public lands and ten with interconnection lines on public lands) and initiated processing of another 54 priority projects with the potential to add at least 27.5 GW of clean energy. Most recently, the Bureau of Land Management approved the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects in California, which will provide up to 465 megawatts of electricity with up to 400 megawatts of battery storage. With today’s actions, the Administration will continue advancing toward the goal of permitting 25 GW of solar, onshore wind, and geothermal energy on public lands by 2025.

BUILDING CLEAN TRANSMISSION LINES

The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest-ever investment in America’s power grid, including funding to build out thousands of miles of new transmission lines that are critical to unlocking clean energy resources and providing American homes, schools, and businesses with electricity that is more affordable and reliable in the face of extreme weather, wildfires, and other disasters. 

To harness the new funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today the Department of Energy is announcing a coordinated transmission deployment program, which will catalyze nationwide buildout of long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines. As outlined in a new Notice of Intent, the pillars of the “Building a Better Grid” initiative are:
 

  • Financing transmission lines and other grid upgrades, including through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s new $2.5 billion Transmission Facilitation Program, a revolving fund for new, replacement, or upgraded transmission lines; $3 billion expansion of the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, focused on advanced technologies that increase capacity and enhance flexibility of the existing grid; and more than $10 billion in grants for states, Tribes, and utilities to enhance grid resilience and prevent power outages. DOE will also leverage existing financing, including the $3.25 billion Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Transmission Infrastructure Program, which facilitates deployment of renewable energy in WAPA’s 15-state service territory, and a number of loan guarantee programs through the Loan Programs Office.  
     
  • Strengthening coordination with state and local governments, Tribal nations, and other stakeholders, including through participation in regional convenings with independent system operators (ISOs), regional transmission organizations (RTOs), state regulatory commissions, utilities, and others.
     
  • Modernizing transmission planning to drive investment to the highest-need projects, including through a new National Transmission Planning Study, National Transmission Needs Study, Offshore Wind Transmission Study, and expanded technical assistance to help states and regions with policy implementation.
     
  • Improving permitting processes, in coordination with the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force and other federal initiatives, including by helping developers provide early information to permitting agencies; using public-private partnerships to advance new transmission lines and system upgrades; and designating National Corridors in areas with transmission capacity constraints that harm consumers.
     
  • Supporting research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of next-generation transmission technology, including through collaborations with the National Laboratories and industry partners.

Last year, the Administration laid the foundation for these efforts by revitalizing Department of Energy transmission financing assistance programs and through Department of Transportation actions to help states host transmission lines along public highways and other transportation rights-of-way.

DELIVERING BENEFITS TO COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY

The Administration has prioritized clean energy deployment in rural communities, providing financing for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to install solar arrays and other clean energy infrastructure and for grid upgrades across rural areas. To build on these investments, the Department of Agriculture is creating a new Rural Energy Pilot Program with $10 million in available grants for rural communities that are particularly underserved to deploy community-scale clean energy technologies, innovations, and solutions. This upcoming pilot program will also help economically distressed rural communities conduct community energy planning to advance local goals for clean, affordable, and reliable power.

Additionally, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is driving historic economic recovery from the pandemic—including by helping communities create new jobs and industries in clean energy. The Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently announced the finalists for Phase 1 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which uses American Rescue Plan funds to support regional industry clusters that will promote equitable economic growth and workforce development. The finalists include 14 regional coalitions focused on clean energy and other climate-related industries, which will receive a combined $7 million in planning grants and compete to win awards of $25 million to $100 million for implementation. Among these finalists are projects to reuse abandoned mine lands for solar, wind, and geothermal energy generation; utilize offshore wind as a power source for hydrogen production in industrial areas; and support clean energy job training, entrepreneurship, and innovation in areas historically dependent on fossil fuel economies.

The Administration is also helping local governments speed up approvals for rooftop solar in order to unlock economic and health benefits for their communities. In July 2021, the Department of Energy launched the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) tool, an online platform that enables jurisdictions to rapidly approve residential solar installation permits. Now, a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that in a pilot conducted in Arizona and California, the SolarAPP+ tool reduced the average permit review time to less than one day. More than 125 localities have already signed up to consider using SolarAPP+, and the Department of Energy is continuing to recruit additional communities across the country.  

NYS Governor Announces $30 Million to Incentivize Building Green (DeCarbonized) Houses

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of a new $30 million initiative called Building Better Homes – Emissions Free and Healthier Communities to build market capacity and demand for healthier decarbonized homes and neighborhoods. The initiative will establish a network of builders and developers that are committed to building carbon neutral single-family homes and neighborhoods and provide training and technical support to builders and developers interested in both advancing the single-family carbon neutral housing market and marketing themselves as leaders in decarbonization and healthy home construction © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of a new $30 million initiative called Building Better Homes – Emissions Free and Healthier Communities to build market capacity and demand for healthier decarbonized homes and neighborhoods. The initiative will establish a network of builders and developers that are committed to building carbon neutral single-family homes and neighborhoods and provide training and technical support to builders and developers interested in both advancing the single-family carbon neutral housing market and marketing themselves as leaders in decarbonization and healthy home construction. Advancing carbon neutrality in the building sector supports the state’s nation-leading goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050 as mandated by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act).  

“Single-family homes are too often overlooked as sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York and it’s crucial we work with both developers and homebuyers to reduce emissions,” Governor Hochul said. “Through the Building Better Homes initiative and its incentives, we are not only ensuring homebuyers have greener options to choose from, but also that we continue to work with the building and development industries to pave the way towards a more sustainable future.”

The initiative will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and today’s announcement makes $5 million available under phase one of the program to support builders and developers seeking training, technical assistance, marketing support, and funding to build carbon-free model homes. This program will grow the carbon neutral single-family home market as well as support modernization and decarbonization of building designs and construction practices to incorporate carbon neutral technologies and cost-effectively deliver high quality, healthy, resilient, and sustainable homes. Applications to become a program partner, with up to $250,000 available per partner, will be accepted through December 31, 2023. For more information on this opportunity and how to become a partner, please visit NYSERDA’s website.

As part of the Building Better Homes initiative, NYSERDA is also partnering with New York State Builders Association and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), to advance construction of carbon neutral homes and promote their non-energy benefits, particularly indoor air quality improvements associated with the absence of combustion appliances and the inclusion of balanced ventilation. These partnerships will provide information about the health benefits of carbon neutral construction that builders and developers can integrate into their own materials to educate homebuyers. Through the partnership with AAFA and their existing diversity, equity and inclusion programming, special attention will be paid to educating the builder network about the health benefits of carbon neutral construction in disadvantaged communities, which traditionally have higher rates of asthma and allergy, in part due to the siting of fossil fuel plants and transportation corridors in these neighborhoods as well as in-home combustion.

NYSERDA is launching the Building Better Homes initiative, in recognition of the impact of harmful building emissions on New York State residents and the world in general,” President and CEO of NYSERDA Doreen Harris said. “Through public-private partnerships, we are taking action to transform the market for carbon neutral homes by highlighting the health benefits of this type of construction and catalyzing market demand as we advance the state’s climate and clean energy goals.”

With over 12,000 new homes being built per year, addressing the single-family home new construction market is critical to achieving the State’s climate and energy goals. As the State implements the Climate Act, any home built with fossil fuel equipment and appliances will need to be retrofitted in the future, adding costs and hassle to homeowners. Building entire neighborhoods without the need to expand natural gas infrastructure, while still providing the quality and features that homeowners want such as fireplaces, swimming pool heaters, and outdoor entertainment areas, will significantly reduce the costs of new developments.

“Build Better Homes is an important initiative in our efforts to put New York on the path toward reaching our goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions,” State Senator Brian Kavanagh said. “In addition to strong mandates for zero-emissions, we will need to increase the capacity of the building sector to build all-electric homes and other critical sustainable infrastructure, as this program will do. While there is an urgent need to invest in sustainability on a much larger scale, Build Better Homes is a good step in the right direction. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul, NYSERDA Chair Richard Kauffman, and everyone at NYSERDA for their ongoing commitment to making New York a leader in creating a sustainableworld.”

“Today’s announcement of the Building Better Homes initiative demonstrates our state’s continued commitment to achieving our statewide emissions and energy goals,” Assemblymember Michael Cusick said. “In order to meet these goals we must address all sources of emissions including single family homes. While larger commercial or residential buildings are often highlighted as major targets for emissions reduction, it is crucial that we not overlook any source of infrastructure emissions and this initiative is a strong step towards significantly reducing single family home emissions.”

“NYSBA is proud to support this Building Better Homes initiative that will enable builders and developers to meet increased performance requirements and build healthier homes for their customers,” Assemblymember Michael Cusick said. “NYSBA strongly believes that state financial investment plays an important role in providing builders and homeowners a cost-effective way to invest in energy efficiency.”

“The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is grateful for the work New York is doing to make homes healthier and safer for people affected by asthma and allergies, by improving indoor environments and removing emissions-emitting appliances within the home,” CEO and President of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Kenneth Mendez said. “Making healthier homes available will improve the lives of families in New York State and I hope will improve health outcomes for communities that are disproportionately impacted by asthma and allergies.”

“New York State and NYSERDA continue to be leaders in the effort to decarbonize the built environment, and we at Phius are proud to be working alongside them in an effort to bring healthier, more efficient homes to the residents of New York and beyond. We hope to see other states and municipalities continue to follow suit in the near future,” Executive Director and Co-Founder of Passive House Institute of the United States (PHIUS) Katrin Klingenberg said, 

Building Better Homes is part of a multi-year investment to decarbonize single family home new construction, and subsequent phases of the program will provide funding for entire carbon neutral neighborhoods to be built, with a goal to increase home buyer demand for healthier carbon neutral homes by educating home buyers on the health and performance benefits. NYSERDA will launch the second phase of this program in mid-2022 with $10 million in funding as a design competition, similar to its successful Buildings of Excellence Competition, which awards exemplary carbon-neutral multifamily building designs. A third component of the program will launch in 2022 to build consumer demand by educating homebuyers on healthy and emissions free home construction.

Today’s announcement also advances recommendations included in New York State’s draft Carbon Neutral Buildings Roadmap, which identified building market capacity through training and technical support as a critical barrier to achieve scale for decarbonization in the new construction market. 

Buildings are some of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, and integrating energy efficiency and electrification measures in existing buildings will reduce carbon pollution and help achieve more sustainable, healthy, and comfortable buildings. Through NYSERDA and utility programs, over $6.8 billion is being invested to decarbonize buildings across the State. In addition to the carbon benefits, these projects will also help the State achieve its ambitious energy efficiency target to reduce on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtu by 2025, the equivalent of powering 1.8 million homes.

This program is funded through NYSERDA’s $6 billion Clean Energy Fund. 

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Act

New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

FACT SHEET: The Biden-Harris Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan

The Biden-Harris-Administration released an EV Charging Action Plan outlining steps federal agencies are taking to support developing and deploying chargers in American communities across the countryAs a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Transportation (DOT) will establish a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation focused on deploying EV infrastructure, working hand-in-hand to collect input and guidance from industry leaders, manufacturers, workers, and other stakeholders that will ensure the national network provides convenient charging for all. The initial focus will be building a convenient, reliable public charging network that can build public confidence, with a focus on filling gaps in rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach locations © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Vice President Kamala Harris announced an action plan to fast track Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments, including this Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan. Here is a fact sheet provided by the White House:

President Biden has united automakers and autoworkers to drive American leadership forward on clean cars, and he set an ambitious target of 50% of electric vehicle (EV) sale shares in the U.S. by 2030. Now, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will supercharge America’s efforts to lead the electric future, Building a Better America where we can strengthen domestic supply chains, outcompete the world, and make electric cars cheaper for working families.
 
President Biden, American families, automakers, and autoworkers agree: the future of transportation is electric. The electric car future is cleaner, more equitable, more affordable, and an economic opportunity to support good-paying, union jobs across American supply chains as automakers continue investing in manufacturing clean vehicles and the batteries that power them.
 
The Biden-Harris-Administration released an EV Charging Action Plan to outline steps federal agencies are taking to support developing and deploying chargers in American communities across the country. As a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Transportation (DOT) will establish a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation focused on deploying EV infrastructure, working hand-in-hand to collect input and guidance from industry leaders, manufacturers, workers, and other stakeholders that will ensure the national network provides convenient charging for all. The initial focus will be building a convenient, reliable public charging network that can build public confidence, with a focus on filling gaps in rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach locations.
 
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes the most transformative investment in electric vehicle charging in U.S. history that will put us on the path to a convenient and equitable network of 500,000 chargers and make EVs accessible to all Americas for both local and long-distance trips. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $5 billion in formula funding for states with a goal to build a national charging network. 10% is set-aside each year for the Secretary to provide grants to States to help fill gaps in the network. The Law also provides $2.5 billion for communities and corridors through a competitive grant program that will support innovative approaches and ensure that charger deployment meets Administration priorities such as supporting rural charging, improving local air quality and increasing EV charging access in disadvantaged communities. Together, this is the largest-ever U.S. investment in EV charging and will be a transformative down payment on the transition to a zero-emission future.
 
With the historic investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris Administration is laying the foundation for a nationwide network of EV charging infrastructure to provide a reliable, affordable, convenient, seamless user experience that is equitable and accessible for all Americans. This network will enable:

  • An accelerated adoption of electric vehicles for all private consumers and commercial fleets, including those who cannot reliably charge at their home that can improve our air quality, reduce emissions, put us on a path to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, and position U.S. industries to lead global efforts.
  • Targeted equity benefits for disadvantaged communities, reducing mobility and energy burdens while also creating jobs and supporting businesses.
  • Create family-sustaining union jobs that can’t be outsourced.

 
 Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
 
The Biden-Harris Administration announced the following actions:

  • Establishing a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation: Tomorrow, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will sign an agreement enabling them to leverage the best resources, talent, and experience at the DOT and the DOE, including the DOE’s National Labs. The Joint Office will ensure the agencies can work together to implement the EV charging network and other electrification provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This will provide states, communities, industry, labor, and consumer groups with a coordinated Federal approach and a “one-stop-shop” for resources on EV Charging and related topics. The agencies will complete a Memorandum of Understanding on December 14th to formally launch the Joint Office.
     
  • Gathering Diverse Stakeholder Input: The White House is convening a series of initial stakeholder meetings on topics including partnerships with state and local government, domestic manufacturing, equity and environmental justice, civil rights, partnering with tribal communities, and maximizing environmental benefits. DOT and DOE will also launch a new Advisory Committee on Electric Vehicles and is targeting to appoint members to this committee by the end of the first quarter of 2022. DOT released an updated guide to deploying EV Charging in highway right-of-way in response to stakeholder interest. To gather input from the widest possible array of stakeholders, DOT has a new EV Charging Request for Information, where stakeholders can submit their priorities for Federal standards and guidance for consideration.
     
  • Preparing to Issue Guidance and Standards for States and Cities: The Administration is already hard at work developing the guidance and standards described in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. No later than February 11th, DOT will publish guidance for States and cities to strategically deploy EV charging stations to build out a national network along our nation’s highway system.  This guidance will look at where we already have EV charging and where we need—or will need—more of it.  It will focus on the needs of disadvantaged and rural communities, catalyze further private investment in EV charging, and ensure we’re smartly connecting to our electric grid. No later than May 13th, DOT will publish standards for EV chargers in the national network to ensure they work, they’re safe, and they’re accessible to everyone.
     
  • Requesting Information from Domestic Manufacturers: EV charger manufacturing, assembly, installation, and maintenance all have the potential to not only support our sustainability and climate goals, but also to drive domestic competitiveness and create good-paying, union jobs in the United States. To ensure this network of EV chargers can be built in America, by America, DOT and DOE are working directly with manufacturers, automakers and labor to understand what domestic sourcing is available today, and what may be possible in the future.  In November, DOT and DOE  released a request for information from domestic manufacturers to identify EV chargers and other charging related components that meet USDOT Buy America requirements and to highlight the benefits of shifting all manufacturing and assembly processes to the United States.
     
  • New Solicitation for Alternative Fuel Corridors: Today, the DOT is announcing a forthcoming solicitation for the 6th round of Alternative Fuel Corridors designations. This program, created by the FAST Act in 2015, recognizes highway segments that have infrastructure plans to allow travel on alternative fuels, including electricity. FHWA will establish a recurring process to regularly update these corridors.

The current network of over 100,000 public chargers operates with different plug types, payment options, data availability, and hardware hookups. Today’s actions will establish a more uniform approach, provide greater convenience for customers, and offer increased confidence for industry.  These federal programs will spur additional private sector investments and drive the build-out of a user-friendly, cost-effective, and financially sustainable national network creating well-paying jobs across manufacturing, installation, and operation. A ubiquitous charging infrastructure targeted to meet different consumers’ needs will provide equitable benefits to all Americans and provide flexibility for future investments, effective integration with a clean power system, and support a growing and diversifying fleet of electrified vehicles.
 
 Electric Vehicle Batteries
 
Another key component of our electric vehicle strategy is to increase domestic manufacturing of EV batteries and components and advance environmentally responsible domestic sourcing and recycling of critical minerals.
 
In June, the Biden-Harris Administration released 100-day reviews of the supply chains of four critical products, including high-capacity batteries and critical minerals and materials. The reviews made dozens of recommendations across Federal agencies securing a reliable and sustainable end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries. These recommendations include supporting sustainable and responsible domestic mining and processing of key battery minerals, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel, and ensuring new domestic automotive battery production adheres to high-road labor standards.
 

  • The Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries released the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, codifying the findings of the battery supply chain review in a 10-year, whole-of-government plan to urgently develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America.
     
  • The DOE Loan Programs Office (LPO) published new guidance and a fact sheet for the approximately $17 billion in loan authority in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM) to support the domestic battery supply chain. LPO will leverage full statutory authority to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity. This will include the ATVM program making loans to manufacturers of advanced technology vehicle battery cells and packs for re-equipping, expanding or establishing such manufacturing facilities in the United States.
     
  • DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) launched a new effort to support deployment of energy storage projects by federal agencies, including a federal government-wide energy storage review that will evaluate the current opportunity for deploying battery storage at federal sites and a call for projects from federal sites interested in deploying energy storage projects. These actions build on steps taken earlier this year to leverage $13 million in FEMP’s Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies grants to unlock an estimated $260 million or more in project investments, including battery storage projects.

There are already promising signs that the Administration strategy is working and industry is ready to step up. For example, Lithium is a critical input to batteries where the United States currently has very little domestic supply. The Biden Administration has funded two dozen teams to expand sourcing of lithium from geothermal brines and approved a permit for the Nevada-based Thacker Pass lithium mine. Automakers area also signing contracts that leverage domestic supply, including Ford sourcing lithium from recycled content through Redwood Materials, GM sourcing lithium from geothermal brines in the Salton Sea with Controlled Thermal Resources, and Tesla sourcing lithium from a Piedmont project in North Carolina.
 
The investments proposed by the Biden Administration will accelerate and amplify this progress. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes more than $7 billion in funding to accelerate innovations and facilities across the battery supply chain from battery materials refining, processing and manufacturing to battery manufacturing, including components, to battery recycling and reuse. These investments will support the development of a North American battery supply chain, help expand manufacturing and recycling facilities in the United States and substantially advance the battery recycling through research, development and demonstration projects in collaboration with retailers as well as state and local governments.
 
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes:

  • $3 billion in competitive grants for battery minerals and refined materials aimed at accelerating the development of the North American battery supply chain.
  • An additional $3 billion for competitive grants aimed at building, retooling, or expanding manufacturing of batteries and battery components (such as cathodes, anodes, and electrolytes), and to establish recycling facilities in the United States.
  • Recognizing the need for innovative and practical approaches to battery and critical mineral recycling, the act includes research, development, and demonstration recycling projects ($60 million) and efforts in cooperation with retailers ($15 million) and state and local governments ($50 million) to increase the collection of spent batteries for reuse, recycling or proper disposal. The electric drive vehicle battery recycling and second-life applications program ($200 million) is focused on making electric vehicles batteries (e.g., optimized designs) easier to recycle and utilize in secondary applications before recycling.

An additional $750 million “Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program” to re-equip, expand or establish an industrial or manufacturing facility to reduce GHG emissions of that facility substantially below current best practices.

FACT SHEET: Biden Signs Executive Order Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Economy Through Federal Sustainability

By shifting its own systems, infrastructure, and workforce to clean energy, the federal government will help create the economic thresholds to transition society from heat-trapping fossil fuels that are contributing to the climate crisis © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

U.S. Government Will Lead by Example to Leverage Scale and Procurement Power to Drive Clean, Healthy, and Resilient Operations
 
Today, President Biden signed an executive order that demonstrates how the United States will leverage its scale and procurement power to lead by example in tackling the climate crisis. The executive order will reduce emissions across federal operations, invest in American clean energy industries and manufacturing, and create clean, healthy, and resilient communities. The President is building on his whole-of-government effort to tackle the climate crisis in a way that creates well-paying jobs, grows industries, and makes the country more economically competitive.
 
The President’s executive order directs the federal government to use its scale and procurement power to achieve five ambitious goals:

  • 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) by 2030, at least half of which will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 demand;
  • 100 percent zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027;
  • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement no later than 2050, including a Buy Clean policy to promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions;
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50 percent emissions reduction by 2032; and
  • Net-zero emissions from overall federal operations by 2050, including a 65 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

In addition to the five new commitments that form the pillars of today’s executive action, the President also directed the federal government to orient its procurement and operations efforts in line with the following principles and goals:

  • Achieving climate resilient infrastructure and operations;
  • Building a climate- and sustainability-focused workforce;
  • Advancing environmental justice and equity;
  • Prioritizing the purchase of sustainable products, such as products without added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); and
  • Accelerating progress through domestic and international partnerships.

Today’s executive action is a part of the President’s broader commitment to increasing investments in America’s manufacturing industries and workers to build back our country better.  By transforming how the federal government builds, buys, and manages its assets and operations, the federal government will support the growth of America’s clean energy and clean technology industries, while accelerating America’s progress toward achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035.
 
President Biden’s executive order demonstrates how the United States government will lead by example to provide a strong foundation for American businesses to compete and win globally in the clean energy economy while creating well paying, union jobs at home. Today’s executive action further reinforces the President’s directive to Buy American and ensure that equity and environmental justice are key considerations in federal operations planning and decision making.
 
The White House also released a detailed description of this plan: The Federal Sustainability Plan: Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Industries and Creating Jobs Through Federal Sustainability.
 
Together, the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Budget for Fiscal Year 2022, and Build Back Better Act will provide agencies with the funding necessary to achieve the goals of the executive order.
 
Catalyzing America’s Clean Energy Industries and Jobs through Federal Sustainability Executive Order
 
Through this executive order, the federal government will transform its portfolio of 300,000 buildings, fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks, and annual purchasing power of $650 billion in goods and services to:

  1. Transition federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and buildings powered by carbon pollution-free electricity, which will reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
     
  2. Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change, and increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050.  
     
  3. Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce, advance equity and environmental justice, and leverage partnerships to accelerate progress.

Transition federal infrastructure to zero-emission vehicles and energy efficient buildings powered by carbon pollution-free electricity:

  • Achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity use by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 basis. The federal government will work with utilities, developers, technology firms, financiers and others to purchase electricity produced from resources that generate no carbon emissions, including solar and wind, for all its operations by 2030. Half of the federal government’s 100 percent carbon pollution-free annual electricity demand will be procured on a 24/7 basis, meaning that the federal government’s real-time demand for electricity will be met with clean energy every hour, every day, and produced within the same regional grid where the electricity is consumed. With the scope and scale of this electricity demand, the federal government expects it will catalyze the development of at least 10 gigawatts of new American clean electricity production by 2030, spurring the creation of new union jobs and moving the country closer to achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035.
     
  • Transition to 100 percent acquisition of zero-emission vehicles by 2035 for the federal vehicle fleet, including 100 percent light duty vehicle acquisition by 2027. The federal government will work with American vehicle, battery, and charging equipment manufacturers and installers to transform its fleet into the largest zero-emission vehicle fleet in the Nation, reaching 100 percent zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035. This will accelerate the advancement of America’s industrial capacity to supply zero-emission vehicles and electric vehicle batteries and create and sustain good union jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and skilled-trades.
     
  • Modernize the federal buildings portfolio to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, including a 50 percent reduction in building emissions by 2032. The federal government will work across existing real property and during new building construction and major renovations to increase water and energy efficiency, reduce waste, electrify systems, and promote sustainable locations for federal facilities to strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which federal facilities are located. Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration will implement the first-ever Federal Building Performance Standard, and will use performance contracting to improve buildings with no up-front costs.

Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change, and increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050.

  • Make federal agencies more adaptive and resilient to the impacts of climate change. The intensifying impacts of climate change present physical, operational, and financial risks to federal infrastructure, agency missions, and our services to the American people. Agencies will implement the actions identified through their October 7, 2021, Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans and modernize federal policy, programs, operations, and infrastructure to support climate resilience investment. By taking action now to better manage and mitigate climate risks, we will minimize future disruptions and destruction to federal operations, assets, and programs and ensure the federal government can continue providing critical services to the Nation.
     
  • Increase the sustainability of federal supply chains, achieving net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050. The companies that supply the federal government are critical partners in achieving our climate goals and growing the economy and American jobs. Cutting emissions from the federal government’s procurement also means buying materials with a lower carbon footprint. The federal government will launch a “buy clean” initiative for low-carbon materials and prioritize the purchase of sustainable products, such as products without added perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Through these actions, the federal government will provide a large and stable signal to the market for sustainable and low-carbon goods made in America, advancing America’s industrial capacity to supply the goods and materials of the future while growing good jobs for American workers.

Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce, advance equity and environmental justice, and leverage partnerships to accelerate progress.

  • Mainstream sustainability within the federal workforce. The federal government’s 4.2 million employees are critical stakeholders and leaders in the shift to sustainable and resilient operations. The federal government will build capacity through engagement, education, and training so that federal workers are ready to embed sustainability, climate adaptation, and environmental stewardship analysis and action in their jobs as we work to Build Back Better.
     
  • Advance equity and environmental justice. The federal government will advance the goals of the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative by ensuring that economic equity and environmental justice are key considerations in operations planning and decision making. A federal environmental justice representative will serve on the newly established Chief Sustainability Officer Council. To incorporate equity, agencies will implement this executive order consistent with the President’s Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, which helps ensure that government contracting and procurement opportunities are available on an equal basis.
     
  • Leverage partnerships to accelerate progress. Collaboration with leading American unions, businesses, States, Tribes, municipalities, and other countries will accelerate progress and catalyze greater climate action at home and abroad. The federal government will build upon its newly launched Greening Government Initiative, which convenes governments around the world to collaborate on greening government operations. Further, the Administration will launch a Presidential Sustainability Executives Program, placing senior leaders from the private and non-profit sectors to serve across the federal government, bringing innovative perspectives and critical expertise to achieve these ambitious, and imperative, sustainability and climate preparedness goals.

Actions Agencies are Taking to Meet the Goals of the Sustainability Executive Order

Across the federal government, agencies are moving expeditiously to meet the President’s call for action and are positioned to meet the ambitious goals of his executive order and Federal Sustainability Plan. Highlights are included below:
 
100 percent CFE by 2030, including 50 percent on a 24/7 Basis

  • In 2022, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Edwards Air Force Base in California will add 520 megawatts (MW) of CFE to the grid by completing one of the country’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) array projects and in the process creating more than 1,000 union and other construction jobs.
     
  • In 2022, DOD’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii will complete construction of the nation’s largest 100 percent clean energy microgrid. By leveraging a 14-megawatt (MW) solar facility paired with a 70 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system sited on the base, the Pacific Missile Range Facility can become self-sufficient for all its electricity needs in the event of a loss of transmission feed from the utility grid.

100 Percent ZEV Acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent Light-Duty ZEV Acquisitions by 2027

  • In 2021, the Department of the Interior (DOI) began transitioning its fleet of U.S. Park Police lightweight motorcycles and dirt bikes to 100 percent ZEVs at its Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco locations, with plans to reach a 100 ZEV fleet by 2025.
     
  • In early 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin field testing the Ford Mustang Mach-E ZEV for use in its law enforcement fleet, which currently consists of over 30,000 vehicles.

Net-Zero Emissions Buildings by 2045, including a 50 percent reduction by 2032

  • In 2023, the Department of Transportation will complete its Volpe Transportation Center project that collapses six buildings into a low-emissions building with rooftop solar PV panels, ZEV charging stations for the federal fleet and employee vehicles, green and cool roof technologies, a rainwater reclamation and reuse system, and a climate-resilient above-grade data center.
     
  • By 2022, the Department of the Treasury will have completed the majority of its energy infrastructure improvements at an Internal Revenue Service Center outside of New York City through a 17-year, $30.9 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC). The ESPC has so far delivered nearly $14 million in capital improvements and $2.2 million in annual utility bill savings. ESPCs allow federal agencies to procure energy savings and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs or special appropriations from Congress.

Net-Zero Emissions Procurement by 2050

  • In 2021, DOD collected information from its suppliers on their efforts to measure and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. DOD is using this information to develop low-carbon purchasing guidelines that will become part of its standard operating procedures.
     
  • In 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) will require contractors to disclose the embodied carbon of building materials for new building and major modernization contracts. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions (mostly carbon dioxide) resulting from the mining, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transportation, and installation of materials. 

Net-Zero Emissions from overall Federal Operations by 2050, including a 65 percent reduction by 2030

  • By January 2022, DOD’s Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia anticipates achieving net-zero energy status.

Climate Resilient Infrastructure and Operations

  • In 2021, more than 20 major federal agencies released plans describing how they will integrate climate-readiness across missions and programs and bolster resilience of Federal assets. For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is collecting building-level data across HUD programs to map existing climate risks to help inform the Department on how to best address climate impacts and protect HUD-assisted assets and their occupants.
     
  • DOD is integrating climate change considerations across its strategic guidance and planning documents, including the National Defense Strategy, which will be released in 2022.

Develop a Climate- and Sustainability-Focused Workforce

  • The Department of State is assessing its climate and sustainability management staffing and training gaps to inform a longer-term plan that will prioritize areas of concern and greatest needs.
     
  • In 2022, the Department of Labor will launch a new training course for its senior leadership team on climate change management considerations and environmental justice principals. The Department will also include climate change literacy in new employee orientation material.

Advance Environmental Justice and Equity

  • In 2021, GSA launched an Environmental Justice and Equity Task Group to identify and propose effective approaches to improve environmental justice and equity in federal sustainable building processes, enhancing engagement with communities and key partners throughout the building lifecycle.
     
  • In 2021, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) convened Climate and Equity roundtables across the country to gather feedback to inform how NOAA provides climate services, engages with underserved and vulnerable communities, and strengthens internal processes to respond to expressed needs.
     
  • As outlined in its October 2021 Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate ChangeDHS is incorporating the need to achieve equity as guiding principle through all lines of effort described in the framework.

Accelerate Progress Through Domestic and International Partnerships

  • In 2021, the United States and Canada launched the Greening Government Initiative, a first-of-its-kind initiative that will enable countries to share lessons learned, promote innovation, and accelerate national efforts to green government operations and help meet Paris Agreement commitments. Today, the 39 GGI participating countries are beginning share key organizational features and policies and identify potential areas for collaboration.
     
  • In 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England’s Boston Healthcare System partnered with National Grid on a plan to transition its 70-car fleet to ZEV. Consistent with National Grid’s recommendations, VA is working with GSA to procure approximately 25 ZEVs in the 2022 acquisition cycle.

Biden: Infrastructure Deal Will Strengthen Nation’s Resilience, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Help Battle Climate Crisis

Solar array at farm in the Finger Lakes of New York. The Bipartisan infrastructure Deal passed by Congress will help strengthen the nation’s resilience to extreme weather and climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand access to clean drinking water and build up a clean power grid © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet provided by the White House spells out how the bipartisan infrastructure package just passed will arm the government in battling the climate crisis:

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal passed by Congress will strengthen our nation’s resilience to extreme weather and climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding access to clean drinking water, building up a clean power grid, and more.

Here’s more: 

President Biden has made combatting the climate crisis a central priority of his Administration, including throughout his legislative agenda. Climate change is already impacting almost every aspect of life in the United States. Extreme heat waves, catastrophic wildfires, and severe drought are taking American lives and livelihoods. In the last year alone, extreme weather has cost America more than $100 billion – often hitting historically underserved groups the hardest, particularly low-income communities, communities of color, and people with disabilities. In just the last few months, nearly 1 in 3 Americans have been hit by a severe weather disaster and 2 in 3 Americans have suffered through dangerous heat waves. Delayed action on climate also sets us back in the global race on manufacturing and innovation, preventing us from harnessing the economic opportunity that this moment represents.
 
As President Biden emphasized at COP26 in Glasgow, climate change poses an existential threat to people, economies, and countries across the world – and it requires swift and bold action to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience. President Biden has been clear: the climate crisis is a blinking code red for our nation. We must take decisive action to tackle the climate crisis in a way that strengthens our nation’s resilience, cuts consumer costs, and ensures the U.S. can compete and win in the race for the 21st century. This moment demands urgent investments the American people want and our nation needs – investments that will bolster America’s competitiveness, resilience, and economy all while creating good-paying jobs, saving people money, and building an equitable clean energy economy of the future. 
 
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal passed by Congress will strengthen our nation’s resilience to extreme weather and climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding access to clean drinking water, building up a clean power grid, and more. When coupled with the Build Back Better Framework, these historic investments will help reduce our emissions by well over one gigaton this decade – ensuring we meet President Biden’s commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels in 2030, create a 100% carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050. Together, these once-in-a-generation investments will unlock the full potential of a clean energy economy that combats climate change, advances environmental justice, and creates good-paying, union jobs.
 
President Biden promised to work across the aisle and unify the country to deliver results for working families. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a critical step towards reaching President Biden’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, and is paired with the Build Back Better Framework to realize his full vision to grow our economy, lower consumer costs, create jobs, reduce climate pollution, and ensure more Americans can participate fully and equally in our economy.

BIPARTISIAN INFRASTRUCTURE DEAL
 
Public Transit
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal makes the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak – helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by repairing, upgrading, and modernizing the nation’s transit infrastructure. The deal will invest $66 billion to provide healthy, sustainable transportation options for millions of Americans by modernizing and expanding transit and rail networks across the country. It will replace thousands of transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles. And, it will benefit communities of color who are twice as likely to take public transportation and often lack sufficient public transit options. In addition, it will help transit workers who are disproportionally workers of color.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States. The deal is also a critical element in the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs. The deal will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop – and funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities.

Clean School Buses
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities, to help school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero emission buses and replace the yellow school bus fleet for America’s children. The deal invests in zero- and low-emission school buses, in addition to more than $5 billion in funding for public transit agencies to adopt low- and no-emissions buses. These investments will drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, creating jobs and supporting domestic manufacturing, while also removing diesel buses from some of our most vulnerable communities. In addition, they will help the more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers who breathe polluted air on their rides to and from school. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other health problems that hurt our communities and cause students to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities.

Modern Infrastructure
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies. Modern, resilient, and sustainable port, airport, and freight infrastructure will support U.S. competitiveness by removing bottlenecks and expediting commerce and reduce the environmental impact on neighboring communities.

Resilience
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history. Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, airport power goes down, or schools get flooded. People of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. The deal makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks, with an investment of over $50 billion to protect against droughts, heat, and floods – in addition to a major investment in the weatherization of American homes.

Clean Drinking Water
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will expand access to clean drinking water to all American families, eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and help to clean up the dangerous chemical PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl). Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack access to safe drinking water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water for households, businesses, schools, and child care centers all across the country. From rural towns to struggling cities, the deal will invest in water infrastructure and eliminate lead service pipes, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.

Legacy Pollution
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal delivers the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history by cleaning up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaiming abandoned mines, and capping orphaned oil and gas wells. In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. Millions of Americans also live within a mile of the tens of thousands of abandoned mines and oil and gas wells – a large, continuing course of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is a major cause of climate change. The bill will invest $21 billion to clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land, and cap orphaned oil and gas wells. These projects will remediate environmental harms, address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities, create good-paying, union jobs, and advance long overdue environmental justice This investment will benefit communities of color like the 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans who live within three miles of a Superfund site – a higher percentage than for Americans overall.
 
Clean Energy Transmission
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s more than $65 billion investment is the largest investment in clean energy transmission and the electric grid in American history. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It also invests in demonstration projects and research hubs for next generation technologies like advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen.