By Ella Nilsen, CNN
President Joe Biden’s administration is announcing billions in new funding for climate, clean energy and environmental justice programs as part of the President’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023.
Several environmental and science agencies would see significant funding boosts if Congress approves Biden’s budget proposal, shared first with CNN.
The US Department of Energy would receive $48.2 billion, the Environmental Protection Agency would receive $11.9 billion and the US Department of Interior would get $17.6 billion — all significant funding increases from the Trump-era funding levels each agency started with when Biden came into office.
The President’s budget serves as a blueprint of what the administration’s priorities are, but Congress has final say and rarely approves everything on the list. Still, the clean energy and climate increases requested by the White House signal how important they are to Biden’s agenda.
The administration is proposing more funding for programs that can bolster clean energy produced in the US, rather than in foreign countries. And it’s putting emphasis on programs to lower energy costs for Americans, including programs to weatherize low-income homes, and funding for rural electric co-ops.
“We’re taking multiple different approaches across the administration to reduce energy costs,” a source familiar with the President’s budget said. “We’re pulling out all the stops here, pulling every lever we can to reduce energy prices.”
As Russia’s war in Ukraine has upended energy markets and raised energy prices around the globe, Biden’s budget proposes $3.3 billion to scale up domestic manufacturing of clean energy technology and speed up the transition to zero-emission vehicles, clean electricity and industrial practices that emit less planet-warming carbon dioxide.
It also invests $5 billion for loans to projects that avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions, providing additional loans to domestic supply chains for critical minerals like lithium that help power electric vehicles and consumer electronics.
Biden is proposing $10.5 billion in funds for the National Science Foundation, including over $900 million specifically to fund research on climate change and its effects on the US.
The budget also focuses on workers in the energy transition, including over $9 billion — a $1 billion increase — in discretionary funding for programs to support job creation and economic revitalization in fossil fuel communities that have been the hardest hit by job losses.
It also includes $200 million for a new solar manufacturing accelerator program at DOE, which is meant to manufacture more solar panels domestically — as much of the materials for solar panels are currently imported from other countries, including China.
Finally, Biden’s budget includes environmental justice funding and grants to help electrify and weatherize homes, lowering their emissions in the process. It includes $1.45 billion for EPA programs on environmental justice and $3 billion for Interior programs under the President’s Justice40 initiative, which is meant to have 40% of federal funds for climate and clean energy go to underserved communities.
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