President Joe Biden’s $1.52 trillion budget request for Fiscal Year 2022, sent to Congress on Friday, includes billions of dollars in funding for clean energy, cybersecurity and more.
In total, Biden's proposed budget would increase spending on clean energy 27%, according to Lindsey Baxter Griffith, federal policy director at the Clean Air Task Force. The request follows his $2 trillion proposed infrastructure plan, released earlier this month, that would create a federal clean electricity standard and expand current tax credits for clean energy, among other things.
- "The upcoming appropriations process is another important opportunity to continue laying a stronger foundation for the future and reversing a legacy of chronic disinvestment in crucial priorities," said acting Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young in a press release.
Biden's proposed budget is part of his broader goal of putting the U.S. on track to decarbonize its electricity sector entirely by 2035, and its economy by mid-century.
The proposed budget would ramp up spending on new technologies, including advanced nuclear and hydrogen, which advocates hope will bring momentum to those more nascent clean energy markets. The proposal would complement other policies in Biden's infrastructure bill that would lengthen the tax credit period for wind and solar by a decade, and create new tax credits for transmission and energy storage.
In order to maintain momentum in new zero-emissions fuels, significant research and development funding needs to be invested for those technologies to see greater deployment, said Baxter Griffith.
"We hope to see significant increases in the specific dollar amounts that can be appropriated for fiscal year 2022 in line with this proposal and the Energy Act of 2020, which authorized new important spending for carbon management and clean industrial technologies," she added.
Politically, pushing the spending through may prove to be difficult, however, without Republican support.
Some Democrats have floated the idea of using the budget reconciliation process again this year, but Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in an April 7 op-ed for the Washington Post, said Senate leadership "should be alarmed at how the budget reconciliation process is being used by both parties to stifle debate around the major issues facing our country today." Manchin's office did not respond to a request for comment on the specifics of the president's proposed budget.
Biden's proposal includes a $4.3 billion budget increase for the Department of Energy, a $2 billion increase for the Environmental Protection Agency, and a $2.4 billion increase for the Department of the Interior.
Clean energy spending is present throughout several other departments as well, including a proposed $6.5 billion allocation to the Department of Agriculture to catalyze rural clean energy projects, and $300 million for the General Services Administration to electrify its 200,000 vehicle fleet, part of Biden's broader plan to electrify all U.S. government-owned vehicles.
|Department of Energy||
$46.1 billion, a $4.3 billion or 10.2% increase from the 2021 enacted level, including:
$1.9 billion toward building a new energy efficiency and clean electricity standard, support development of streamlined transmission, and local grants to incentivize clean energy workforce support;
Over $8 billion to quadruple clean energy research across the government in four years, including in advanced nuclear energy technologies, electric vehicles and green hydrogen;
Support increased funding for carbon capture technology and direct air capture for difficult-to-decarbonize sectors;
$1 billion for advanced research projects in climate and clean energy, through a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Climate and the existing Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy; and
$7.4 billion for the Office of Science to develop new clean energy technologies, and support power plant communities, among other things.
|Environmental Protection Agency||$11.2 billion, a $2 billion or 21.3% increase from the 2021 enacted level, including:
$110 million to restore EPA staff capacity, reduced by nearly 1,000 people under President Donald Trump, according to the Biden administration;
$1.8 billion in programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
$936 million toward new "Accelerating Environmental and Economic Justice" initiative; and
$882 million for the Superfund Remedial program, for cleaning up contaminated land, responding to environmental emergencies, oil spills and natural disasters, and reducing emissions of toxic substances.
|Department of Interior||$17.4 billion, a $2.4 billion or 16% increase from the 2021 enacted level, including:
$450 million to create jobs plugging oil wells and to remediate mining sites; and
$550 million to decrease climate pollution, accelerate clean energy deployment, and expand efforts around climate adaptation and ecosystem resilience among the federal land management agencies.
|Department of Agriculture||Includes $6.5 billion in loan authority for rural electric loans, to support additional clean energy, energy storage and transmission projects.|
|Department of Commerce||Includes $150 million to fund two new Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, including one focused on semiconductors; and
$84 million for the Assistance to Coal Communities program, in addition to $300 million to support locally-driven economic development projects.
|Department of Homeland Security||Includes $2.1 billion for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.|
|Department of Labor||Includes $100 million for the new multi-agency POWER+ Initiative, aimed at reskilling and reemploying displaced workers in Appalachian communities; and
$20 million for a new program to train military veterans in clean energy careers. Also includes $20 million for a new program focused on helping veterans shift to careers in clean energy.
|General Services Administration||Includes $300 million to purchase electric vehicles and charging infrastructure for the agency's 200,000 vehicle fleet; and
$300 million for other agencies to electrify their vehicle fleets.
|National Science foundation:||Includes $1.2 billion for climate and clean energy related research.|
Correction: A previous version of this story misnamed the Clean Air Task Force.