Infrastructure Bill Includes $73 Billion for Electricity Grid
The infrastructure package includes substantial investments to tackle climate change, but it falls far short of the transformational package President Biden had sought.
It contains only a fraction of the money it has asked for for major environmental initiatives such as building a network of electric vehicle charging stations and replacing the country’s lead pipes. And the legislation extends a lifeline to natural gas and nuclear power, provisions that have already angered progressives in the House.
The bill provides $ 73 billion to modernize the country’s electricity grid so that it can transport more renewable energy, the largest federal investment in electricity transmission in history. And that includes billions of dollars for a range of climate resilience measures.
The compromise includes $ 7.5 billion to develop electric vehicle charging stations across the country, half of the $ 15 billion requested by Mr. Biden to fulfill his campaign pledge to build 500,000. And one some of that money, by law, must be shared with efforts to build propane and natural gas infrastructure.
There’s still $ 7.5 billion for clean buses and ferries, but that’s not enough to electrify about 50,000 transit buses within five years, as Mr Biden has pledged to do it.
The bill would provide $ 15 billion to remove lead service lines across the country, compared to the $ 45 billion requested by Mr Biden and the $ 60 billion that water executives believe is needed to to do work.
The legislation also provides more than $ 300 million to develop technology to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, and $ 6 billion to support ailing nuclear reactors; it also orders the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study into the job losses associated with Mr Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.
Energy analysts said the measures in the package, particularly to modernize the electricity grid, would lay the groundwork to pivot the nation off fossil fuels. But the bill does not include any mechanism to immediately impose reductions in fossil fuel emissions, a policy that will be necessary to fulfill Mr Biden’s commitment in the Paris Agreement to reduce states’ greenhouse gases. United 50 to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.
“There are a lot of things here that, however you cut them out, reflects a real fact on the ground that the United States is still 70% dependent on fossil fuels in its energy mix,” said said Kevin Book, managing director. of Clearview Energy Partners, a Washington-based research firm.
“This is not a transitional bill,” he said. “This is an incremental bill that includes transition elements. “
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