Thursday, October 28, 2021

ReImagine Appalachia: Updated Build Back Better Framework Sets Stage For Job-Creating Investment in Healthier, More Prosperous Future for Appalachia

The newly unveiled
Build Back Better Framework and the bipartisan infrastructure framework that passed the Senate in August will make the largest ever investments in job-creating climate action in Congress’ history, according to ReImagine Appalachia.

“The Build Back Better Framework announced today will deliver the largest investment in world history for job-creating climate investment that makes possible a bright new future for Appalachian coal country,” said Amanda Woodrum of Policy Matters Ohio, co-director of ReImagine Appalachia.  “It will improve the lives of all in our region—Black, brown and white, those with low, moderate, and high incomes, young and old, rural areas and urban centers.”

“By investing in reducing carbon emissions in every part of our economy—our electric grid, industry, transportation including rail and electric vehicles, and buildings—and absorbing more carbon through conservation and in agriculture, the two-part package poised for passage will create millions of jobs, many in the unionized trades and clean manufacturing,” said Stephen Herzenberg of Keystone Research Center and co-director of ReImagine Appalachia.

[The updated Build Back Better Framework includes--

-- Clean Energy Tax Credits ($320 billion): Ten-year expanded tax credits for utility-scale and residential clean energy, transmission and storage, clean passenger and commercial vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing.

-- Resilience Investments ($105 billion): Investments and incentives to address extreme weather (wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes, including in forestry, wetlands, and agriculture), legacy pollution in communities, and a Civilian Climate Corps.

-- Investments and Incentives for Clean Energy Technology, Manufacturing, and Supply Chains ($110 billion): Targeted incentives to spur new domestic supply chains and technologies, like solar, batteries, and advanced materials, while boosting the competitiveness of existing industries, like steel, cement, and aluminum.

-- Clean Energy procurement ($20 billion): Provide incentives for government to be purchaser of next gen technologies, including long-duration storage, small modular reactors, and clean construction materials.]

Taken together, the two packages invest ambitiously in every part of the ReImagine Appalachia climate infrastructure plan unveiled in July 2020. 

-- Repairing the damage from extraction, including by cleaning up abandoned mine land and capping uncapped orphan gas and oil wells—many of the jobs that result from this unprecedented investment will be created in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky because those states account for much of the nation’s damaged land.

-- Modernizing the grid and promoting the expansion of renewable energy.

-- Growing manufacturing by making it cleaner and more efficient.

-- Transforming agriculture to increase its absorption of carbon and support healthier, locally grown foods.

-- And building a sustainable transportation system.

“We cannot afford not to make these investments,” said Woodrum. “The cost of inaction would be catastrophic. The good news for regular people is that the two-part package is paid for by asking the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans to pay more. No one making under $400,000, the vast majority of Appalachians, will pay more in taxes.”

Click Here for full ReImagine Appalachia statement.

More Detailed Summary Of What’s In

-- Electric Vehicles: Extends and creates a refundable $7,500 Electric Vehicle (EV) tax credit for consumers through 2031. $12,500 tax credit if the car comes from a union facility. Additional $500 rebate for EVs with domestically built batteries. Credits limited to incomes below $400,000 for individuals or $800,000 for joint filers. Credits limited to EV sedans costing $55,000 or less, or SUVs or trucks costing $74,000 or less.

-- Grants For Biofuel Infrastructure: $960 billion USDA cost-sharing grant program for marketers to install, retrofit or upgrade UST system infrastructure and pumps to sell higher biofuel blends as well as to build and retrofit traditional and pipeline biodiesel terminal operations and home heating oil distribution centers. EMA will be working to improve this provision.

-- Biodiesel Tax Credit: Extends the $1 per gallon biodiesel tax credit through 2026 and extends the $0.10-per-gallon small agri-biodiesel producer credit through the end of 2031.

-- Extends Tax Credits For Alternative Fuels: Extends the $0.50 per gallon excise tax credits for alternative fuels and alternative fuel mixtures through 2026.

-- EV Charging Stations: $600 million for publicly accessible Level 2 EV chargers.

-- Extends the nonbusiness energy property credit to property through 2031 and increases the percentage of the credit from 10% of the cost to 30% and lifetime cap from $600 to $1,200. Any oil furnace or hot water boiler placed into service before Jan. 1, 2027 that meets or exceeds the 2021 Energy Star efficiency criteria and can use 20 percent or more biodiesel/renewable diesel can qualify for the credit. Following Jan. 1, 2027, only an oil furnace or hot water boiler that achieves a 90 AFUE efficiency rating or more and can use biodiesel/renewable diesel blends of 50 percent or more will qualify for the credit.

-- Extension of wind and solar tax credits.

-- Fees on oil and gas companies for methane leaks.

-- $360 million for contractor training grants to support home energy efficiency retrofits and $5.89 billion for state energy offices to provide rebates for retrofits. Provides that home energy efficiency retrofit rebates for high-efficiency natural gas heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling (HVAC) systems and water heaters are eligible for six years after the date of enactment.

-- $2.226 billion for DOE for qualifying electrification projects. This provision is part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to have electricity be the only energy that American households use. Subsidies will flow to electric stoves and dryers. It provides subsidies for electric heat pumps and Electric heat pump water heaters. The total for all programs in this area are $10,000, with each appliance or retrofit having limits. The maximum for a heat pump for home heating would be $4,000, for a cold climate heat pump in a cold climate.

Resource Links:

-- White House: Announces Revised Build Back Better Framework

-- White House: Build Back Better Framework Outline


-- NPR: What Stays And What’s Gone From Biden’s Spending Bill (So Far)

-- UtilityDive: Biden Proposes $550 Billion In Clean Energy, Climate Spending With Build Back Better Framework

-- StateImpactPA - Rachel McDevitt: Smaller Build Back Better Framework May Impact Priorities Biden Hyped In Scranton Last Week

-- Gov. Wolf Praises President Biden’s Revised Build Back Better Plan

-- PA Cap-Star: Biden Pitches New $1.75 Trillion Spending Blueprint To Dems

-- AP: Biden Announces ‘Historic’ Deal, Asks Democrats For Votes

-- WPost: Biden Unveils New Spending Package Aimed At Attracting All Democrats

-- WPost: What’s In The $1.75 Trillion Biden Budget Plan

-- Reuters: Biden Pushes New $1.75 Trillion Spending Plan In Last-Minute Congress Visit

[Posted: October 28, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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