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OUR PERSPECTIVES

The President’s Budget Focuses on Climate, But This Year with a Spin



The Biden Administration has consistently prioritized climate action and this year is no different. However, unlike past years where climate was a focal point of the budget, this year it falls lower on the priority list. Given the presidential year and acknowledgement that funding levels for climate are higher under the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, messaging for the Administration’s climate priorities are rolled up to be catalysts for good paying jobs, lower everyday costs, and climate resilience.


Here are several funding priorities that we anticipate the Biden Administration prioritizing throughout the appropriations cycle:


Expanding the Climate Corps: As a reminder, last year the Biden Administration launched the Climate Corps, which funds federal jobs in clean energy, conservation, and resilience and partners with states on aligned goals. This year, the Budget recommends $15 million to support and expand AmeriCorps’ leadership of this program, $23 million to support the 1,700 new ACC members, and $8 billion in mandatory funding to hire 50,000 additional ACC members by 2031.

 

Clean Energy Investment in Rural Communities: The Budget recommends $1 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency upgrades and $6.5 billion for rural electric loans to build out clean energy infrastructure through USDA rural development programs. This would supplement the $13 billion for rural development programs included in the IRA.

 

Programs that Reduce Energy Costs: The Budget includes $4.1 billion for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and recommends that funding for the program should be used for water bill assistance as well as energy and weatherization aid to low-income households.

 

Investing in Resiliency: Across multiple federal agencies, the Budget recommends investing $23 billion in climate adaptation and resiliency. By including agencies like DOD, EPA, DHS, and Commerce, the Budget takes a holistic approach to flood mitigation, grid resilience, and conservation.

 

As Congressional Committees call agency leadership to testify on the President’s Budget, expect to hear these themes and specific programs highlighted as the Administration coalesces behind a new climate message – one of good jobs, lower electricity costs, and resilient communities.

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