The state of national climate and energy policy

Executive Order: Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis

  • Reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector
  • Establishing ambitious fuel economy standards
  • Upgrading appliance- and building-efficiency standards
  • Protecting our air from harmful pollution
  • Accounting for the benefits of reducing climate pollution

Executive Order: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad

  • Achieving or facilitating a carbon-free electricity sector no later than 2035, as well as clean and zero-emission vehicles for federal, state, local, and tribal government fleets.
  • Increasing renewable energy production on federal lands and waters, with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030 while ensuring robust protection for our lands, waters, and biodiversity and creating good jobs.
  • Pausing new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters pending a comprehensive review.
  • Eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Ensuring that federal infrastructure investment reduces climate pollution.
  • Revitalizing the economies of coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities in the transition to cleaner energy.

Decarbonization commitments to the international community

  • By 2030, achieve a 50% — 52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net GHG emissions.
  • By 2030, achieve a 30% reduction in global methane emissions.
  • By 2035, transition the electric power grid to be 100% carbon-free nationwide.
  • By 2050, achieve net zero GHG emissions across the US economy.
  • Provide $11.4 billion per year in climate financing to developing countries.

Transportation: Fuel economy/emissions standards

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Transportation

  • The $13.2 billion Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program adds eligibility for zero-emission vehicles and charging equipment.
  • The $6.42 billion Formula Carbon Reduction Program establishes a new program to reduce transportation emissions.
  • The National Motor Vehicle Per-Mile User Fee Pilot would establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.
  • Over $35 billion is allotted to railway investments.
  • The legislation includes various EV charging infrastructure (EVCI) provisions, such as these:
  • Biden has committed to deploying a national network of 500,000 charging stations. The legislation invests $7.5 billion to initiate the buildout of this network and provides funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors and within communities.
  • The Charging and Refueling Grant Program authorizes $2.5 billion over five years for Alternative Fuel Corridors, with 50% of the total funds available for Community Grants to install EVCI on roads, schools, parks, and in public parking facilities, prioritized for rural and low- and moderate-income communities.
  • The bill appropriates $1 billion per year for five years to establish an EV Charging Formula Program at the DOT to provide funding to states for EVCI.
  • The Clean School Bus Program appropriates $1 billion per year for five years to implement a school bus change-out program at the DOE.
  • The Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program appropriates $250 million for a new low-emission ferries and rural ferry systems grant program.

Energy and grid infrastructure, resilience

  • The legislation includes the Energy Infrastructure Act (S. 2377), authorizing funding and programs for an array of fuel sources and technologies, including the reliability and resilience of the electric grid.
  • The legislation appropriates approximately $65 billion to harden and enhance the nation’s electric grid infrastructure. Provisions include:
  • $5 billion in grants to states and tribes, grid operators, fuel suppliers, and others to supplement efforts to harden the electric grid against disruptive extreme weather events.
  • $2.5 billion for a revolving loan fund to facilitate the construction of new or replacement energy transmission lines.
  • $3 billion for the Smart Grid Investment Matching Grant Program, adding eligibility for technologies for increased flexibility in responding to natural disasters, fluctuating demand, and other events necessitating a quick rebalance of the grid.
  • $500 million for State Energy Conservation Plans that support transmission and distribution planning.

Energy efficiency and building infrastructure

  • The bill authorizes numerous programs to encourage and fund energy efficiency upgrades for various types of buildings.
  • Allocations include:
  • $250 million to establish the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant program under the State Energy Program for states to conduct energy audits or upgrades and retrofits of residential and commercial buildings.
  • $40 million to states to train individuals to conduct energy audits.
  • $225 million toward a competitive grants program through DOE’s Building Technologies Office for states or regional partnerships to implement updated building energy codes, including through training and data collection.
  • $10 million in grants to institutions of higher education to establish training centers in energy-efficient design and operations, plus $10 million for nonprofit partnerships between public employers, industry, and labor for career skills training programs.
  • $3.5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which reduces energy use by low-income households through installation of cost-effective energy savings upgrades and improvements.

Clean energy demonstration projects

Energy security

Supply chains for clean energy technologies

Fuels and technology infrastructure investments

Loan programs

Differences between the House and Senate programs

Critiques of the infrastructure bill

  • The Clean Electricity Standard would incentivize utilities to switch from fossil fuels to clean sources, with financial rewards for staying on schedule to achieve 100% renewable power by 2035, and penalties if they fall behind. This was deleted from the infrastructure bill but was added to the House version of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
  • The investment and production tax credits that support solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects are currently set to decrease and then expire over the next several years. The infrastructure bill would not extend the tax credits, but the House version of the reconciliation bill would extend them for ten years — and would also add a special credit for projects in low-income communities, as well as making energy storage and transmission lines eligible for tax credits.

Budget reconciliation: What happens next

--

--

--

Accelerating the transition to #renewableenergy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise. www.clean-coalition.org

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Clean Coalition

Clean Coalition

Accelerating the transition to #renewableenergy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise. www.clean-coalition.org

More from Medium

On the Road(ie) Again!

The “Low-block”

Inverse polynomial linear units “IplU” Activation Function

Spirituality Adventures — Spirituality Adventures