Biden climate plans would cut emissions by 1 billion tons, study finds

Net Zero Carbon vs Neutral Emissions
President Biden's signature climate initiatives would cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a billion tons in 2030, according to a report on key pieces of the legislative proposals.(Courtesy: Marek Piwnicki/Unsplash)

Rhodium Group estimates that the initial policies outlined in the infrastructure and reconciliation plans, though subject to change, would be equivalent to removing the annual emissions from all light-duty vehicles in America or zeroing out net annual emissions from Texas and Florida combined.

President Biden's signature climate initiatives would cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a billion tons in 2030, according to a report on key pieces of the legislative proposals.

Rhodium Group analyzed several of the most significant provisions within the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package and the "Build Back Better" plan within the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, which are both still working through the US Congress.

The report finds that the proposals -- long-term clean energy tax credits, a Clean Electricity Performance Program, funding for rural electric cooperatives to decarbonize, new electric vehicle tax credits, fees on methane emissions, and boosted funding for agricultural and forestry programs that achieve carbon removal -- can cut US emissions by 830-936 million tons in 2030 compared to current policy.

Beginning in 2023, the Clean Electricity Performance Program would reward utilities that increase their share of clean energy by 4% per year with grants and punish utilities that fall short by imposing fees.

In August, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told colleagues in a letter that President Biden's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2005 levels is within reach, in large part due to the proposed CEEP. Analysis of the program found that it would create nearly 8 million jobs by 2031.

"The biggest share of reductions comes from the electric power sector, where the combination of clean energy tax credits, CEPP, and rural cooperative programs cut emissions by up to 715 million tons," the authors wrote. "Depending on energy market and technology cost assumptions, the CEPP delivers the majority of these reductions."

The report estimates that long-term EV tax credit enhancements in the "Build Back Better" plan would lead EVs to make up as much as 61% of total vehicle sales in 2030, even more than President Biden's goal of 50%.

Rhodium Group estimates that the initial policies outlined in the infrastructure and reconciliation plans, though subject to change, would be equivalent to removing the annual emissions from all light-duty vehicles in America or zeroing out net annual emissions from Texas and Florida combined.

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John Engel is the Content Director for Renewable Energy World. For the past decade, John has worked as a journalist across various mediums -- print, digital, radio, and television -- covering sports, news, and politics. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Malia. Have a story idea or a pitch for Renewable Energy World? Email John at john.engel@clarionevents.com.

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