Climate, Energy, and Environment

Climate, Energy, and Environment

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest investment in clean energy infrastructure in American history. It seeks to modernize our power grid by building and upgrading thousands of miles of resilient transmission lines to reduce outages and energy costs and facilitate the expansion of clean energy. It will invest in energy efficiency and clean energy improvements in our homes, schools, businesses, and communities to make them cleaner and more affordable. And it will fund new program to support the development, demonstration, and deployment of cutting-edge clean energy technologies to accelerate our transition to a zero-emission economy, while also creating good paying jobs and investing in manufacturing in communities across the country.

The BIL invests $21 billion in environmental remediation – the largest investment in addressing legacy pollution in American history. These projects will remediate environmental harms, address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities, create good-paying union jobs, and advance long overdue environmental justice.

Funding Overview:

Clean energy & power funding includes four major areas  – (1) delivering clean power (~$21.3 billion), (2) clean energy demonstrations (~$21.5 billion), (3) energy efficiency and weatherization retrofits for homes, buildings, and communities ($6.5 billion), and (4) funding for clean energy manufacturing and workforce development ($8.6 billion).

Environmental remediation funding falls into four major programs – (1) abandoned mine land reclamation ($11.3 billion), (2) orphaned well plugging, remediation and restoration ($4.7 billion), (3) Superfund site cleanup ($3.5 billion), and (4) brownfield remediation and revitalization ($1.5 billion).

Clean Energy & Power

The Dept. of Energy’s Building a Better Grid Initiative seeks to accelerate the deployment of new transmission lines to connect Americans to cleaner, cheaper electricity, while improving the resilience and reliability of the grid. This initiative will leverage the ~$16.5 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to reliably deliver clean, affordable power to more Americans, improve the resilience of our grid infrastructure, and help achieve the President’s goal of 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.

More than $700 million will be made available for upgrades to our existing hydropower fleet that will improve efficiency, maintain safety, and reduce environmental impacts. Eligible recipients for this funding include States, Tribes, communities, and utilities, including utilities that operate under regulatory supervision by local governments and State commissions.

The Department of Energy established a new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to oversee the $21.5 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for clean energy demonstration projects for innovative technologies like clean hydrogen, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage, advanced nuclear reactors, and more. Demonstration projects test the effectiveness of innovative technologies in real world conditions at scale, often leveraging public-private partnerships to pave the way towards commercialization and widespread deployment. Much of this funding will go to large projects that can be significant engines of local and regional economic development and job creation.

In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Department of Energy is charged with investing an additional $6.5 billion to support weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements to reduce energy costs for American families, businesses, schools, and communities, improve comfort and health, and cut carbon and air pollution, which disproportionately harms lower-income communities and communities of color. These investments will also help State, local, and Tribal governments develop and implement their own clean energy and energy efficiency programs that will create jobs in their communities. Much of this funding will flow through existing State energy offices, local governments, or weatherization and housing agencies

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments in clean energy technology supply chains for technologies like batteries will allow America to make the energy technologies of the future right here at home, boosting our competitiveness within a global clean energy market expected to reach $23 trillion by the end of the decade. These investments will create good jobs up and down the supply chain—especially manufacturing jobs and skills-matched opportunities for fossil fuel workers. Department of Energy’s funding will go primarily to clean energy manufacturing facilities across the country. Department of Interior’s funding will enable the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) to modernize the Nation’s mapping of critical mineral potential, including those minerals necessary for clean energy technologies and for other key manufacturing sectors of the economy. This mapping will focus on both minerals still in the ground and mineral resources that may be reprocessed from mine wastes. The maps will also provide data useful to support remediation of abandoned mine lands, and will improve the Nation’s understanding of other natural resources such as groundwater and geothermal energy, and geologic hazards such as earthquakes.

Environmental Remediation

  • The BIL provides $11.3 billion to the Department of Interior to provide grants to States and Tribes for abandoned coal mine land reclamation. These funds will be disbursed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to eligible States and Tribes. The BIL also provides $25 million to the Department of the Interior to help States update their abandoned mine land inventories. Finally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes language enabling the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation to give priority to reclamation projects that provide employment for current and former coal industry workers.
  • The BIL provides $4.7 billion to the Department of Interior to establish three new well plugging, remediation and reclamation grant programs – $250 million for wells on Federal lands, $4.3 billion for wells on State and private lands, and $150 million for wells on Tribal lands. These funds include initial, formula, and performance-based grants for States and Tribes, as well as funding for technical assistance to help identify, prioritize, and plug wells.
  • The BIL provides $3.5 billion in new funds to the Environmental Protection Agency to fund clean-ups and remedial actions on Superfund sites. The bill waives the State cost-share requirements for this new funding and encourages the Environmental Protection Agency to consider the unique Superfund needs of Tribal communities.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has already announced $1 billion of this funding will clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded sites, while accelerating cleanup at dozens of locations across the country.
  • The BIL provides $1.5 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency to expand its existing brownfield remediation and revitalization grant programs. $1.2 billion of the funding is for brownfield assessment grants, cleanup grants, technical assistance, environmental remediation job training, and reuse/economic revitalization. $300 million of the funds will flow to support State and Tribal brownfield clean-up programs.

The above information comes from the BIL Guidebook available at build.gov.

Agencies

U.S Department of Energy (DOE) – 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – 

Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) – 

Denali Commission – 

National Laboratories – 

Other Resources

The Alaska Energy Data Gateway provides the public, as well as project developers and researchers, with comprehensive energy data and selected socioeconomic data from across the state. With this information, the public can make informed decisions about energy issues in their communities and see how similar issues are being addressed in other parts of the state.

Grants & Other Funding Opportunities:

  • Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program — This existing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program will distribute $1 billion to support communities undertaking hazard mitigation projects to reduce the risks they face from disasters and other natural hazards. FY21 applications are open until January 28th, 2022 and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding remains available. Communities will apply as sub-applicants under their states. Applications for FY22 are expected to open no later than September 30th, 2022.
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance — $3.5 billion from this existing FEMA program can be used for projects that reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program. FY21 applications are open until January 28th, 2022. Communities will apply as sub- applicants under their states. Applications for FY22 are expected to open no later than September 30th, 2022.
  • Brownfields Remediation Program — This existing EPA program will provide $1.2 billion in grants and technical assistants to communities to assess and safely clean up contaminated properties and offer job training programs. Communities are currently able to request funding for Targeted Brownfields Assessments through their regional EPA office. Additional competitive funding opportunities will be announced this spring.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants — This Department of Energy block grant program will provide $550 million to states, local governments, and tribes for projects that reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency, and cut pollution. The first funding opportunity is expected for release in the Fall of 2022.
  • Grants for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Improvements in Schools — This new Department of Energy Program will provide $500 million for local government education agencies and nonprofit partners to make energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean vehicle upgrades and improvements at public schools. The opportunity to apply for funding is expected to be open in the Fall of 2022.
  • Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas —This new Department of Energy program will provide $1 billion to entities in rural or remote areas (defined as cities, towns, or unincorporated areas with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants) to increase environmental protection from the impacts of energy use and improve resilience, reliability, safety, and availability of energy. Applications for funding are expected to be open in the Fall of 2022.
  • Grants for Energy Efficiency and Resilience Code Adoption — This Department of Energy program will provide $225 million to state energy agencies, in partnership with local building code agencies, codes and standards developers, utilities, and other entities, to enable sustained, cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes to save customers money on their energy bills. Applications for funding are expected to be open by the end of 2022.
  • Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs — This new Department of Energy program will provide $8 billion to support the development of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs to improve clean hydrogen production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use. Applications for funding will open in the Summer of 2022.
  • Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program — This new $1 billion program at the Department of Agriculture will provide grants to communities at risk from wildfire to develop or revise their community wildfire protection plans and carry out projects described within those plans. It will include a mix of formula and competitive funds. Applications are expected to open early in 2023.