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Build Back Better Act Invests $555 Billion for Climate Action

Posted 12.15.21 in General

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Early Friday morning, November 19th, the House of Representatives approved President Biden’s expansive social and climate spending proposal known as the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill features increased outlays of $1.64 trillion in climate, environmental, and social programs, and $1.27 trillion in increased revenues from corporations and wealthy individuals, for a net increase in the deficit of $0.37 trillion. The bill covers a broad array of areas, including renewable energy, the environment, education, child care, and health care. The plan provides the largest investment in clean energy, the environment, and sustainability in US history.

The $555 billion investment in climate action includes:

  • $320 billion in funds for clean energy tax credits for renewable energy projects, clean energy manufacturing, commercial and passenger vehicles, and transmission and storage
  • $110 billion investment in clean energy technology, supply chains, and manufacturing
  • $105 billion in funding for resiliency measures, including measures to address extreme weather.
  • $20 billion for clean energy procurement
  • $100 million in grants for states to develop electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Increased fees on the oil and gas industry
  • Consumer and agricultural benefits as well as investment in forest management, coastal restoration, and soil conservation
  • Funding for lead remediation and the extensive replacement of lead water lines
  • A provision to create a Civilian Climate Corps to take on environmental and climate projects Addressing environmental justice through the creation of the Justice40 Initiative to ensure that at least 40% of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy go to disadvantaged communities
  • The renewable energy provisions restore the federal investment tax credits for renewable energy projects to 30% through 2026, with bonus credits for domestic content and projects that benefit low-income households. Battery storage and microgrids are now eligible for the credits. The bill also allows the credits to be refundable, meaning that if a taxpayer’s tax liability is less than the amount of the credit, the balance can be issued to them as a refund. Non-profits and local government agencies are also allowed to take the credit as a refund.
  • The bill provides for immediate cuts in pollution levels and has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than a gigaton by 2030, thereby slashing US emissions up to 52% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

The package also includes significant new or expanded programs to benefit American families. Here are a few of the most notable new programs: Some of those programs are:

  • $270 billion for affordable childcare – the lowest-income families would get free child care, and families who earn up to $300,000 annually would see childcare expenses capped at 7% of their income.
  • $190 billion for a new child tax credit
  • $205 billion for paid family and medical leave
  • $110 billion for universal prekindergarten for all 3 and 4 year-olds
  • $120 billion to extend Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance subsidies until 2025, and to expand coverage for lower income people.

The Build Back Better bill was passed by the House, but it is expected to change significantly in the next weeks in order to pass the Senate.

NEXT…What is the budget impact of the BBBA?

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