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Joe Biden Administration Launches Historic $20 Billion Competition to Catalyze Investment in Clean Energy Projects and Tackle the Climate Crisis

Vice President Harris visits Coppin State University, an HBCU in Baltimore, Maryland, on final day of Investing in America tour to announce historic investment to capitalize a national-scale clean energy financing network and provide unprecedented support for underserved communities

To close-out the Biden-Harris Administration’s second Investing in America tour and highlight the impact of Bidenomics in communities nationwide, Vice President Kamala Harris will announce a $20 billion competition to capitalize a clean energy financing network that will massively expand investment in new projects that reduce pollution across the country. The funding is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a first-of-its-kind and national-scale $27 billion competition funded through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to combat the climate crisis by catalyzing public and private capital for projects that slash harmful climate pollution in communities across the country, especially underserved communities, all while lowering energy costs for families and creating good-paying jobs.

The Vice President will make the announcement at Coppin State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), where she will be joined by Senator Tom Carper, Senator Ed Markey, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman David Trone, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, and Maryland Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller. The event concludes the second round of the Administration’s Investing in America tour, where President Biden, Vice President Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Cabinet members, and other Administration leaders held over 50 events and traveled to over 30 states and territories to highlight how Bidenomics is growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up in every community across the country.

The $20 billion will be deployed through two separate and complementary competitions, each aimed at mobilizing a national-scale clean energy financing network that ensures the clean energy opportunity reaches all Americans in every zip code:

  • The $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) competition will provide grants to support two-to-three national clean financing institutions that will partner with the private sector to provide accessible, affordable financing for tens of thousands of clean technology projects nationwide. At least 40% of NCIF funds will flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including communities with environmental justice concerns, traditional energy communities, rural communities, Tribal communities and other underserved areas.
  • The $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA) competition will work in tandem with the NCIF by providing grants to support two-to-seven hub nonprofit organizations that will provide funding and technical assistance to community lenders working to finance clean technology projects – from retrofitting homes to be highly efficient and zero emissions to electrifying small businesses’ delivery fleets – in low-income and disadvantaged communities. All CCIA funds will flow to these communities, helping advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to environmental justice.

Last month, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced the first part of funding through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund – $7 billion for the “Solar for All” competition, which will increase access to affordable, resilient, and clean solar energy for millions of low-income households.

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits from certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

Today’s announcement furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic climate agenda, which is lowering energy costs for hardworking families, bolstering America’s energy security, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, advancing environmental justice, and strengthening community-driven climate resilience across the country. And it demonstrates how Bidenomics—President Biden’s vision for growing the economy from the middle out and the bottom up—is driving clean energy investment across the country.

The announcement today builds on a recent slate of major clean energy announcements through the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda, including:

Expanding Access to Capital and Funding for Clean Energy Projects

  • Earlier this month, the Department of Energy announced nine states and three Tribal nations as the third cohort to receive more than $200 million in Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants. These grants are part of $2.3 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure that communities across the Nation have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity and that power grids are modernized to meet the needs of a clean energy economy and increasingly climate-impacted society.
  • In June, the Treasury Department released guidance on direct pay, a key provision in the Inflation Reduction Act to expand the reach of clean energy tax credits and help build projects more quickly and affordably, which will create good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for families, and advance American innovation. As a result, local governments, territories, Tribes, nonprofits, and other tax-exempt entities will be able to access clean energy tax credits for the first time.
  • In May, the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office issued guidance for its Clean Energy Financing Program, which can provide over $300 billion in loan guarantees for projects that will revitalize communities and drive clean energy progress across the power sector, industrial sector, and beyond.
  • In May, the Treasury Department provided additional guidance for the $10 billion Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit, opening the first round of the program to advance industrial decarbonization and boost American manufacturing in the industries of the future. To ensure President Biden’s manufacturing boom delivers benefits to communities across the country, 40% of the funding will be set aside for projects in energy communities.

Investing in Clean Buildings and Schools  

  • This week, the Department of Energy announced $90 million in competitive awards to help states, cities, tribes, and partnering organizations implement updated energy codes for buildings. Funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these awards will support 27 projects across 26 states and the District of Columbia to ensure buildings meet the latest standards for energy efficiency — reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering energy bills for American families and businesses.
  • In June, the Government Services Administration announced nearly $1 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act to make more than 100 federal buildings across the country net zero and/or electric—including the second largest in its portfolio, the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC.
  • In June, the Department of Energy announced $178 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 24 selectees through the Renew America’s Schools grant program, which will support the implementation of energy improvements in K–12 schools across the country, including upgrading HVAC systems, installing innovative technologies like solar panels and batteries, and alternative-fuel vehicle infrastructure.
  • In March, the Department of Energy announced $250 million in funding through the Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) program to help federal agencies implement net-zero building projects. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this investment will support energy and water conservation efforts to reduce emissions from government facilities, setting an example in sustainability as the country works to transition to clean energy.

Driving Electric Vehicle Adoption

  • In June, the Department of Transportation announced $1.7 billion to put more than 1,700 clean buses on the road across 46 states and territories. Nearly half of these buses will be zero-emission models, bringing the total number of zero-emission transit buses funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over two years to more than 1,800 – and more than doubling the number of zero-emission transit buses on America’s roadways.
  • In June, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that nearly $24 billion has already been committed for electric vehicle public charging infrastructure through 2030 as a result of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, rising demand for electric vehicles, and investment from private firms, the public sector, and electric utilities. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $7.5 billion in EV charging, $10 billion in clean transportation, and over $7 billion in EV battery components, critical minerals, and materials, and the Administration is on track to achieve the President’s goal of 500,000 public electric vehicle chargers.
  • In April, the Environmental Protection Agency announced $400 million in grants through the Clean School Bus Program, which offers funding for school districts to replace dirty diesel buses and transition to cleaner school bus fleets. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program is funded for five years and will distribute over $5 billion to deliver cleaner school buses across the country. 

Supporting Rural and Energy Communities

  • This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $21 million in technical assistance grants from the Inflation Reduction Act through the Rural Energy for America Program to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses access federal funds for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements.
  • In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the biggest investment in rural electrification since the New Deal and the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority—nearly $11 billion through the Inflation Reduction Act to help rural energy and utility providers bring affordable, reliable clean energy to their communities across the country.
  • In April, the Biden-Harris administration released a slate of new investments to support energy communities, including new guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act’s energy communities bonus credit from Treasury to drive new clean energy projects, and $450 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for clean energy demonstration projects on current and former mine land through the Department of Energy. 

 White House official WH.gov

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July 2023

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