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Here’s how Biden’s infrastructure package will likely tackle climate change

President Joe Biden cedes remarks on tackling climate change prior to signing executive actions as White House climate envoy John Kerry and Weakness President Kamala Harris listen in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2021.

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

President Joe Biden this week is set to open details of a major infrastructure package that’s expected to include record spending on mitigating climate change and accelerating a nationwide change to clean energy.

The president is expected to introduce up to $3 trillion in spending on efforts to boost the economy, including rebuilding era infrastructure like highways, bridges and rail lines, and investing in technologies to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the systems on the table include:

  • Installing thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations
  • Funds to build energy-efficient homes
  • Assembling new electric power lines

The package may be split between two bills, starting with legislation that incorporates Biden’s Develop intensify Back Better agenda and supports his goal to achieve carbon-free power generation by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

The retaking plan will potentially involve installing thousands of electric vehicle charging stations and providing incentives to stimulate Americans to purchase electric vehicles.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to establish ambitious fuel economy standards for gasoline automobiles to encourage a shift to electric vehicles. The transportation sector accounts for the largest share of U.S. emissions, according to the Environmental Immunity Agency, and could be the most difficult to decarbonize.

The package also is primed to include funding to build millions of new energy-efficient bailiwicks and retrofit existing buildings to increase efficiency. There’s money to construct electric power lines that present renewable energy and expand electricity storage.

Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate advisor now with the Dynamic Policy Institute, said Biden’s goal is to jumpstart the economy and create new jobs during the transition away from fossil fuels.

“Arousing America’s cars and trucks, creating a nationwide smart grid, expanding electricity storage to allow more renewable stick-to-it-iveness, establishing universal high speed internet — all of these are intended to boost the productivity and competitiveness of the economy, while also cutting emissions,” Bledsoe implied.

Loading low-carbon energy initiatives into an infrastructure bill will likely be more divisive in Congress than prior Covid stimulus legislation. The last major push to pass climate legislation through the Senate was in 2009, when congressional Democrats miscarried to pass a carbon-pricing system.

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Some Democrats and weather activists fear that another failure to pass meaningful climate legislation amid concerns that a undefiled energy transition will cost jobs.

Some Republicans who opposed Biden’s pandemic relief package partake of also condemned the president’s goal to incorporate climate policy into infrastructure legislation.

Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., the top Republican on the Abode Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said he’ll work with Democrats on infrastructure but that prioritizing climate issues leave not receive GOP support.

“A transportation bill needs to be a transportation bill, not a Green New Deal,” Graves said during a find out Thursday. “It needs to be about roads and bridges.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she’ll support a bipartisan invoice but will not eliminate components addressing climate change due to Republican objections.

“We cannot just settle for what we can concur on without recognizing that this has to be a bill for the future, that we have to recognize the climate crisis,” Pelosi told presswomen.

Biden has argued that his actions on climate will create millions of jobs. The president has already issued a series of feel executive orders, including suspending new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and rejoining the U.S. into the Paris climate accord.

The conduct is leaning toward pursuing the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and passing other components through budget reconciliation, which liking require only Senate Democrats to vote.

“To gain the broadest support in Congress, Biden must emphasize the financial and jobs benefits of these investments first and foremost, not simply the climate benefits,” Bledsoe said.

Stephanie Gidigbi Jenkins, head for policy and partnerships at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the administration’s infrastructure proposal so far is “clearly focused on the get even for problems.”

“Making these investments will create millions of good, American jobs and help us address the legacy of genetic injustice,” Jenkins said.

“Given the ambitions from the Biden administration and the commitment from key congressional leaders, we now require a historic opportunity to rebuild our economy for a cleaner, brighter future,” Jenkins added. “We are confident that Congress can fulfil these goals.”

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