Endangered, the Biden administration announced a series of new executive measures to accelerate the United States’ transition to a clean energy grid. On Wednesday, the White House said it would commit billions to projects that lead to the building of more wind, solar and geothermal power across the country.
Specifically, management announced that it is moving forward with the lease of six commercial areas off the coast of New York and New Jersey for use in wind farm projects. Over 488,000 acres of ocean floor is on offer for the winning bidders to build an estimated 5.6 and 7 gigawatts of clean power generation. As part of the bidding process, the White House says it will incentivize participants to support labor jobs and acquire turbine components from US manufacturers. The development of the New York Bight is a central pillar of the Biden construction management plan.
Another important aspect of today’s announcement is the “Building a Better Network” initiative. Withdrawal of $65 billion from Congress that Congress appropriated to modernize the power grid when President Biden passed the initiative, and the initiative allocated $2.5 billion to fund the installation of new transmission lines. It is allocating another $3 billion to expand the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, which supports projects that increase the capacity and resilience of existing electrical infrastructure.
The administration says it will also commit $10 billion in grants to states, tribes, and utility companies to help those groups boost their local transmission lines. Taken together, the investments will help modernize the country’s electricity grid, facilitating the transfer of renewable energy from remote generation sites to where it is most needed. It will also bolster the power grid against the type that is becoming more common as the effects of climate change worsen.
Today’s announcement sees the White House putting forward meaningful climate policy, but if the Biden administration is to have a chance to achieve the president’s ambitious goal, it will need to move beyond legislative deadlock that has been left in limbo. Much of that will depend on whether the White House can persuade Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to back the nearly $1.75 trillion social and climate spending bill.
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