Washington Energy and Sustainability Updates – June 2021 | Mintz – Perspectives on Energy and Sustainability

The Biden administration’s budget request was released on May 28, outlining the president’s spending priorities for the next fiscal year that begins October 1. Importantly, this is a proposed budget – the House and Senate appropriations committees are already working their spending bills for the next fiscal year, but with majority Democrats in both chambers, the president’s priorities will certainly be taken into account much more than in a divided government.

In the section titled “Tackling the Climate Crisis”, the budget request presents a number of funding requests related to energy and sustainable development, including, but not limited to:

  • $ 1.7 billion in energy-efficient renovations to homes, schools and federal buildings;
  • $ 2 billion to put welders, electricians and other skilled workers to work on building clean energy projects across the country;
  • $ 815 million – an increase of $ 540 million from the level adopted in 2021 – to integrate climate impacts into pre-disaster planning and projects to ensure the nation is rebuilding itself smarter and safer for the future ;
  • over $ 450 million to facilitate climate change mitigation, resilience, adaptation and environmental justice projects in the Indian country, including investments to kickstart the process of transitioning tribal colleges to renewable energy;
  • $ 600 million for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in individual budgets of 18 federal agencies, including dedicated funds to the General Services Administration for other agencies and for state postal service charging infrastructure -United ;
  • over $ 580 million to clean up thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells and reclaim abandoned mines.
  • over $ 4 billion to fund a broad portfolio of research across multiple agencies, including the Home Office, NASA, NSF and others, to improve understanding of climate change;
  • more than $ 10 billion, an increase of almost 30% from 2021, in clean energy innovation in non-defense agencies to help transform the electricity, transportation sectors , buildings and industry in the country to achieve a net zero carbon economy by 2050;
  • Contribution of $ 1.2 billion to the Green Climate Fund – the first US contribution since 2017 – to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change; and
  • $ 485 million to support other multilateral climate initiatives, including $ 100 million for international climate adaptation programs.

Read the President’s budget proposal by clicking HERE.

Executive Decree on Climate-Related Financial Risks

On May 20, President Biden signed the Climate-Related Financial Risks Executive Order, Aimed at Helping Americans better understand how climate change can impact their financial security. The executive decree: 1) requires a whole-of-government approach to mitigate climate-related financial risks; 2) encourages financial regulators to assess climate-related financial risks; 3) Directs the Secretary of Labor to consider suspending, revising or repealing any rule of the previous administration that would have prevented investment firms from considering environmental, social and governance factors, including climate-related risks in their investment decisions related to workers’ pensions; 4) leads the development of recommendations to improve how federal financial management and reporting can integrate climate-related financial risk, particularly when that risk relates to federal lending programs; and 5) direct the federal government to develop and publish annually an assessment of its exposure to climate-related fiscal risks.

DOE launches initiative on energy, emissions and equity

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new initiative to advance research, development and nationwide deployment of clean heating and cooling systems that include heat pumps, advanced water heaters, low and zero global warming potential refrigerants, and smarter HVAC diagnostic tools in residential and commercial buildings. The Better Energy, Emissions and Equity Initiative (Initiative E3) will be launched with efforts to make clean and efficient building technologies easier and cheaper to install and use, including:

  • National initiative for the deployment of advanced water heaters
  • Research and development of refrigerants with low or without GWP
  • Residential HVAC smart diagnostic tool campaign
  • Technological challenge of heat pumps for cold climates
  • Better Buildings Low Carbon Pilot

Find additional details by clicking HERE.

Senate committee advances Clean Energy for America Act

The Senate Finance Committee approved the Clean Energy Act for America, sending it to the entire Senate for review. The legislation would address the challenges of temporary energy tax provisions, replacing 44 different energy tax provisions with a simpler set of performance-based, technology-neutral, and long-term tax incentives that promote energy efficiency. clean energy. Among other provisions, the legislation approved by the committee:

  • grants an additional credit amount of $ 2,500 for eligible new rechargeable electric-powered motor vehicles whose final assembly is carried out in a facility where production workers are members or represented by a union organization;
  • requires a new rechargeable electric-powered motor vehicle purchased by the taxpayer to have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $ 80,000 or less;
  • extends credit for qualified commercial electric vehicles to include qualified electric transportation options;
  • modify the salary requirements in effect for labor used in the construction of an eligible residence for the purposes of section 45L;
  • changes the 179D deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings; and
  • replaces the Section 25C credit for non-commercial energy goods with an energy retrofit credit available to individuals.

To learn more about the Clean Energy Act for America Click on HERE.

New legislation would help manufacturers modernize their facilities

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Manchin (D-WV) joined Sens. Graham (R-SC) and Hickenlooper (D-CO) to help eligible small and medium-sized manufacturers modernize their facilities to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a press release from President Manchin, the bipartisan Clean Energy Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency Act, 1) establish a program to provide grants to small and medium-sized manufacturers who have received an energy assessment from an Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) funded by the Department of Energy to perform upgrades recommended to their facilities that would improve their energy efficiency, cybersecurity, and productivity while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and waste; and 2) authorizes TSIs to provide technical assistance to customers to help them complete their upgrade projects.

The text of the law can be found HERE.

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