Higgins Announces Expansion of Legislation to Promote Clean Economy Jobs in the U.S.

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Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, announces the passage of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, H.R. 4447, that promotes initiatives towards sustainable advancements and the creation of clean economy jobs in the United States.

Throwing more light into the legislative expansion, Higgins explains, “As we continue to advocate for the use of clean, renewable energy to protect our environment, it’s critical that we push for innovative research that will lead to substantial advancements. This bill will provide federal funding to assist in these initiatives and to create sustainable energy jobs.”

The energy package offered under this bipartisan bill includes:

Grants for Energy Efficient Initiatives

As part of energy-efficient initiatives, the bill introduces a new set of standards for buildings and the provision of funding for homes, municipal buildings, manufacturing facilities, and schools. Some of the funding programs announced by the bill include:

  • $17.5 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.
  • $1.7 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • $5 billion in grants for home retrofits.

Grants for Clean Transportation

Under the package aiming for the promotion of clean transportation in the U.S., the bill authorizes:

  • $650 million for low- and zero-emissions school buses.
  • $2.5 billion to reduce harmful emissions from diesel engines through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.
  • Over $36 billion for electrifying vehicles and building charging infrastructure.

Environmental Justice Grants

Under the environmental justice grant, the bill offers grants for various purposes such as:

  • $95 million for education, research, and training in environmental justice.
  • $50,000 grants to help community groups that are impacted by air pollution, encouraging them to participate in decision-making and permit approval.

Grants for Workforce Development

To create a clean energy workforce, the bill grants funds for development programs to eligible businesses, buy America provisions, and strong prevailing wage standards and project labor agreements for fully or partially funded projects by the Act.

Grants to Reduce Industrial Emission

To enhance innovation and reduce carbon pollution in the U.S., the bill announces:

  • Investment in carbon capture technology and storage to eliminate harmful wastes from the atmosphere.
  • A $1.25 billion grant program to prevent leaks from natural gas distribution systems.

Grants for Renewable Energy Programs

  • $121.4 million for geothermal programs and $109.2 million in FY2021 for wind energy.
  • Investments of $294 million in FY2021 for a DOE program that promotes solar energy research, demonstration, and commercialization. The grant will annually increase to $357.4 million in FY2025.
  • $200 million for grants and low-interest loans for solar installation for affordable multifamily buildings.

Grid Modernization and Energy Storage

  • Investment of $1 billion per year to improve electric grid and $100 million per year to improve energy storage
  • More efforts to be done to increase resiliency, transmission capability, security, and integration with vehicles.

Scientific Integrity Grants

  • Codification of scientific integrity principles across all federal science agencies.
  • Each agency must appoint scientific integrity to adhere to these principles.

For more detailed update on the legislative expansion, click on official press release on the announcement of Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act.