ICYMI: Week of Climate Action from the Biden-Harris Administration
President Biden’s economic plan is building a clean energy future in America that is creating good-paying jobs, lowering energy costs, and tackling the climate crisis.
On Tuesday, President Biden welcomed thousands of guests to the White House to celebrate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act—the most aggressive action the United States has taken to combat climate change, while advancing environmental justice and saving families money. On Wednesday, he toured the Detroit Auto Show to celebrate the American electric vehicle manufacturing boom spurred by his economic plan.
Throughout the week, the Biden-Harris Administration charged forward with major executive actions across sectors to tackle the climate crisis:
- Electric Vehicles: At the Detroit Auto Show, President Biden highlighted the $85 billion invested since he took office to make electric vehicles, batteries, and chargers in America. He also announced the Administration’s approval of the first 35 state plans for EV charging made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
- Offshore Wind: The Administration launched actions to drive U.S. leadership on floating offshore wind platforms, an emerging technology key to harnessing the clean energy potential of deep waters along the West Coast, Gulf of Maine, and other areas. The actions aim to reduce the costs of floating offshore wind by at least 70% by 2035, and the Administration set a new deployment goal of 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2035.
- Cleaner Industry & Construction Materials: The Administration announced new actions under the Federal Buy Clean Initiative to prioritize purchase of lower-carbon steel, concrete, asphalt, and flat glass—materials that account for nearly half of all U.S. manufacturing greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, and Deputy National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi made the announcements at the Cleveland-Cliffs Direct Reduction steel plant in Toledo, Ohio, an emblem of good-paying jobs in clean American manufacturing.
- Climate-Smart Agriculture: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack embarked on a five-state tour to announce that USDA tripled its commitment to climate-smart agriculture to support a first round of 70 projects—reaching more than 50,000 farms and sequestering over 50 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Administration also launched CleanEnergy.gov, a website to help families learn how the Inflation Reduction Act can save them money on more energy efficient appliances that bring down utility bills, buying a new or used electric vehicle, and more.
Read below for coverage of this week’s announcements:
ELECTRIC VEHICLE MANUFACTURING BOOM
The New York Times: At Detroit Auto Show, Biden Announces Money for Charging Stations
[Zach Montague and Coral Davenport, 9/14/22]
President Biden, a self-described “car guy” and Corvette owner, toured the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Wednesday and announced the approval of an initial $900 million investment to begin building electric vehicle charging stations across the federal highway system.
Reuters: Biden declares ‘Detroit is back’ as he lauds shift to electric vehicles
[David Shepardson and Jeff Mason, 9/14/22]
President Joe Biden took a victory lap on Wednesday at the Detroit auto show, highlighting automakers’ increasing shift to electric vehicles and billions of dollars in new investments in battery plants . . . White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi told Reuters automakers and battery firms in 2022 announced “$13 billion into EV manufacturing” as they accelerate “the pace of their investment into capital projects here in the United States.”
AP: Car guy Biden to tout electric vehicles at Detroit auto show
[Colleen Long and Tom Krisher, 9/14/22]
In Detroit, Biden announced approval of the first $900 million in infrastructure money to build EV chargers across 53,000 miles of the national highway system in 34 states and Puerto Rico. “The great American road trip is going to be fully electrified,” Biden said.
OFFSHORE WIND TO POWER FIVE MILLION HOMES
The Verge: The Biden administration’s big new plans for floating offshore wind turbines
[Justine Calma, 9/15/22]
The Biden administration announced splashy new goals today aimed at positioning the US as a leader in the development of next-generation floating wind turbines. The announcement substantially expands Biden’s previous offshore wind ambitions by opening up new areas that traditional fixed-bottom turbines haven’t been able to reach.
Reuters: U.S. sets target for floating offshore wind farms expansion
[Nichola Groom, 9/15/22]
The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled a plan to accelerate development of next-generation floating offshore wind farms by slashing the cost of the technology by 70% and setting a goal for it to power 5 million U.S. homes by 2035. The announcement was the latest in the White House’s push to bolster the nation’s fledgling offshore wind industry as part of its climate-change agenda.
AP: Biden plans floating platforms to expand offshore wind power
[Matthew Daly and Jennifer McDermott, 9/15/22]
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said her state and California have some of the best wind resources in the world, but called floating platforms crucial to develop them due to the depth of the ocean floor along the West Coast. Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, an industry group, called the announcement a “game changer” that will spark investment in a new domestic supply chain and allow the U.S. to lead in this emerging technology.
CNN: Biden administration announces plan to develop floating offshore wind turbines for West Coast
[Ella Nilsen, 9/15/22]
The Biden administration on Thursday announced several new initiatives to develop technology for massive, floating offshore wind turbines as part of the effort to launch offshore wind in California and elsewhere on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts . . . Outgoing White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy called offshore wind a “new American industry that’s really booming” and said the new initiative were designed so the US can try to position itself “to lead the world on floating offshore wind.”
BUYING CLEAN CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
Bloomberg: White House Releases Plan to Cut Construction Carbon Emissions
[Stephen Lee, 9/15/22]
The Biden administration said Thursday it will tell agencies to buy low-carbon types of steel, concrete, asphalt, and flat glass. Taken together, those four materials account for nearly half of all domestic carbon emissions from the manufacturing sector, and 98% of the government’s construction materials purchases, according to a White House fact sheet. The plan also extends to federally-funded projects, the White House said.
Toledo Blade: Transportation Secretary Buttigieg highlights Cleveland-Cliffs in climate, infrastructure plans
[Trevor Hubert, 9/15/22]
For U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Thursday served as a “win-win-win,” as he highlighted the department’s commitment to tackling climate change by purchasing clean materials . . . The Biden Administration delegation led by Mr. Buttigieg, deputy national climate adviser Ali Zaidi, and U.S. General Services Administration administrator Robin Carnahan used the Cleveland-Cliffs facility as an example of what the administration is looking for: American-made, energy-efficient material production to power everything from electric vehicles to wind turbines.
E&E News: Biden officials tout moves to buy greener materials
[Robin Bravender, 9/15/22]
The administration announced Thursday that it’s adding additional agencies to its Buy Clean Task Force. That task force — led by the Council on Environmental Quality and White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy — was launched in February to promote the purchase of lower-emitting construction materials.
CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE PROJECTS ACROSS 50,000
Reuters: U.S. farm agency to triple investment in climate-friendly farming
[Leah Douglas, 9/14/22]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest nearly $3 billion in projects to reduce climate-harming emissions from farming and forestry, tripling the funding it had initially envisioned for the program, the agency announced on Wednesday. The investment is part of a broader effort by the administration of President Joe Biden to decarbonize the U.S. economy within decades and make the United States a leader in the fight against global climate change.
Iowa Capital Dispatch: USDA more than triples funding for ‘climate smart’ agriculture
[Jared Strong, 9/14/22]
The Biden administration plans to distribute more than $3 billion to fund projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in agriculture and forestry — a tripling of its initial commitment in February . . . The initial round of projects is expected to encompass the production of livestock, milk, corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, peanuts, cotton, timber and others, with producers in each state included in at least one project. The program requires that those project leaders make periodic reports of their progress.
Michigan Farm News: Payments, incentives for ‘climate-smart’ practices coming to MI through USDA-backed projects
[Farm News Media, 9/14/22]
USDA anticipates projects through the Climate-Smart Commodities program will result in hundreds of expanded markets and revenue streams for producers across more than 50,000 farms and more than 20 million acres of working land. The department used recommendations from the Food and Agricultural Climate Alliance (FACA), a group comprised of more than 80 member organizations — including AFBF — when developing the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities.
CLEANENERGY.GOV TO SAVE CONSUMERS MONEY
New York Times: How the Climate Law Can Save You Thousands of Dollars
[Coral Davenport, 9/13/22]
The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Biden in August includes about $370 billion to fight climate change, some of it in the form of tax credits and rebates to help consumers save thousands of dollars on energy-efficient appliances, plug-in vehicles and renewable electricity for their homes . . . The Biden administration has created a website designed to help you figure out which cars, appliances and home improvements will qualify for the tax credits and rebates.
The Verge: The Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits are confusing, so the White House launched a website to help
[Andrew J. Hawkins, 9/13/22]
The Biden administration launched a new website — CleanEnergy.gov — aimed at helping Americans navigate the new green energy tax credits contained in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) . . . The new website is designed to help Americans save money on home upgrades or new purchases while also steering them toward cleaner, more efficient products. The website serves as a hub for basic questions about the clean energy tax credits, redirecting visitors to other government sites that contain more detailed information about solar roof installation, heat pumps, and other repairs they could make to make their home more energy efficient.