President Joe Biden has his infrastructure package called the American job plan on March 31 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The plan includes a major investment to revitalize the country’s energy infrastructure and boost renewable energy development.
The plan aims to create a more resilient network, lower energy bills for middle-class Americans, improve air quality and public health, and create good jobs, with the choice of joining a union, moving towards achieving 100% carbon-free electricity. by 2035.
President Biden calls on Congress to invest $ 100 billion to:
Build a more resilient electrical transmission system.
By investing in the grid, we can move cheaper, cleaner electricity to where it is needed most. This starts with creating a targeted investment credit that will boost the construction of at least 20 GW of power lines and instantly mobilize tens of billions of private capital. In addition, President Biden’s plan will establish a new Grid Deployment Authority at the Department of Energy that will allow better utilization of existing rights of way – along roads and railways – and support creative funding tools to encourage extra high priority, high voltage. transmission lines. These efforts will create well-paid jobs for union workers, line workers and electricians, in addition to creating demand for US-made building materials and parts.
Encourage jobs to modernize power generation and provide clean electricity.
President Biden proposes a 10-year extension and a gradual phasing out of a comprehensive tax credit for direct payments and a tax credit for clean energy production for clean energy generation and storage. These credits will be combined with strong labor standards to ensure that the jobs created are quality jobs with a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively. President Biden’s plan will mobilize private investment to modernize our energy sector. It will also support national, local and tribal governments that choose to accelerate this modernization through complementary policies – such as clean energy blocking grants that can be used to support clean energy, worker empowerment and environmental fairness. And it will use the incredible purchasing power of the federal government to drive clean energy deployment in the marketplace by procuring clean power 24/7 for federal buildings. To ensure that we take full advantage of the opportunity presented by the modernization of our energy sector, President Biden will establish an Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) to lower electricity bills and pollution, increase competition in the market and encourage more efficient use. of existing infrastructure, and continue to harness the carbon pollution-free energy provided by existing sources such as nuclear and hydropower. All of this will be done while ensuring that those facilities meet robust and rigorous standards for worker, public and environmental safety, as well as the environment, all as we strive for 100% carbon-free energy by 2035.
Put the energy industry to work by sealing orphaned oil and gas wells and clearing abandoned mines.
Hundreds of thousands of former orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines pose a serious safety risk, while also causing ongoing air, water and other environmental damage. Many of these old wells and mines are in rural communities that have suffered from years of divestment. President Biden’s plan includes an immediate upfront investment of $ 16 billion, which will put hundreds of thousands to work for union work by sealing oil and gas wells and recovering and recovering abandoned coal, hard rock and uranium mines . In addition to creating good jobs in hard-hit communities, this investment will reduce the methane and brine leaking from these wells, just as we invest in reducing leaks from other sources, such as obsolete pipes and distribution systems.
Restore and redevelop vacant real estate, and encourage the building of critical physical, social and civic infrastructure in ailing and disadvantaged communities.
In thousands of rural and urban communities across the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now inactive – sources of fire blight and pollution. Through a $ 5 billion investment in the remediation and redevelopment of these Brownfield and Superfund sites, as well as related economic and workforce development, President Biden’s plan will turn this unused property into new centers of economic growth and the creation of jobs. But it is not enough to re-develop old infrastructure. President Biden’s plan will also provide these communities with new critical physical, social and civic infrastructure. This means investing in the Economic Development Agency’s Public Works program (while lifting the $ 3 million ceiling for projects) and in “Main Street” revitalization efforts through HUD and USDA. President Biden’s plan will also drive targeted sustainable economic development efforts through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER grant program, the Department of Energy inactive plant conversion grants (through the Section 132 program), and targeted funding to support community-led environmental justice efforts. as capacity and project grants to address past pollution and the cumulative impacts of frontline and phenceline communities.
Build the next generation of industries in ailing communities.
President Biden believes that the market-based shift to clean energy offers tremendous opportunities for the development of new markets and new industries. For example, by combining an investment in 15 low-carbon hydrogen demonstration projects in ailing communities with a new manufacturing tax credit, we can drive retrofits of capital projects and installations that strengthen and decarbonise our industry. The president’s plan will also establish ten pioneer facilities that demonstrate carbon capture retrofits for large steel, cement and chemical manufacturing facilities, while ensuring that congested communities are protected from increasing cumulative pollution. In addition, in accordance with the Bipartis SCALE Act, his plan will support large-scale sequestration efforts that leverage the best science and prioritize community engagement. And to accelerate the responsible use of carbon capture and ensure permanent storage, President Biden’s plan reforms and expands the Section 45Q two-pronged tax credit, making it instantly payable and easier to use for hard-to-decarbonize industrial applications, direct air capture. and retrofits of existing flow. plants.
Mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers.
This $ 10 billion investment will put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work preserving our public lands and waters, strengthening community resilience, and promoting environmental justice through a new civilian climate corps, while well-paid Union jobs are coming within reach for more Americans. .
SEIA has endorsed the new plan through a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO:
“President Biden’s infrastructure proposal is an important step in achieving our collective clean energy goals. The plan creates jobs, boosts the economy, faces the climate crisis and promotes environmental justice.
“Releasing these critical infrastructure priorities is only the beginning of a long policy-making process in the coming weeks and months that will require continued attention and determination on the part of elected officials.
“The plan has a clear focus on domestic manufacturing, good jobs for all Americans, and clean energy woven everywhere. SEIA has made proposals that are in line with this plan and that will help rebuild the economy better. Our industry is poised to add hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and hundreds of thousands of jobs across all American communities.
“In keeping with the president’s emphasis on quality jobs, an upcoming job survey will show that solar has a union rate of 10.3%, which is significantly more than previously estimated and higher than the average for the entire economy. . These union jobs, along with a host of other career support jobs in the solar industry, offer a new moment to prioritize equality and create opportunity in every community, regardless of zip code, including for fossil fuel workers pursuing their careers in want to continue the energy sector.
“We look forward to working with the government and the bipartisan members of Congress to pursue policies that generate the kind of economic growth and climate solutions that we are all striving for.”
News report from the White House. Updated with SEIA’s statement at 1:14 PM