In Washington The Biden administration announced $20 billion in funding on Friday to assist finance clean energy initiatives like the construction of electric vehicle charging stations, home energy efficiency upgrades, and the provision of battery backup power for communities.
According to senior government officials, the investment, spread across two grant applications, intends to strengthen towns who have historically received insufficient funding.
Speaking alongside EPA Administrator Michael Regan and members of Congress at Coppin State University in Baltimore, a historically Black institution, Vice President Kamala Harris praised the investment on Friday afternoon.
She mentioned how communities in the US are dealing with droughts, flooding, and wildfire smoke while stating that the climate catastrophe is one of the most pressing issues.
Everyone is impacted by the climate problem, but not all communities are affected equally, according to Harris. “Poor communities, rural communities, Native American communities, and communities of color are often the hardest hit and the least able to recover.”
The projects will get funding from the two competitions, the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator and the National Clean Investment Fund, in the amounts of $14 billion and $6 billion, respectively.
According to a senior administration official, the financing is a component of the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, an investment made possible by last year’s Inflation Reduction Act.
According to the White House, both competitions will prioritize funding for low-income and disadvantaged areas, including rural, indigenous, and those worried about environmental justice. According to the White House, these areas will receive at least 40% of the $14 billion in funding as well as 100% of the $6 billion in funding.
According to Harris, the expenditures will also assist the public health by encouraging clean air and water, as well as families’ budgets by enhancing energy-efficient systems.
According to a senior administration official, applications must be submitted by October 12 in order to allow grantees to begin working on projects as early as July 2024.
The goal is to make selection judgments by March 2024. In the upcoming weeks, the EPA will hold open webinars on the contests.
Local climate leaders briefed Harris and Regan prior to the announcement.
The Biden administration’s Investing in America tour, a weeks-long blitz of senior administration officials who traveled throughout the nation to promote the president’s economic vision, comes to a close with Harris’s speech.