Biden seeks more money for DOI in 2022 budget to combat climate change, build renewables

Last week, the Biden-Harris administration submitted to congress the budget for fiscal year 2022. The Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) 2022 budget proposal totals $17.6 billion — an increase of $2.5 billion, or 17 percent, from the 2021 enacted level. The significant investment will help DOI address the climate crisis while creating good-paying union jobs and investing in healthy lands, waters, and economies in communities across the country, said the Whitehouse in a press release.

The 2022 budget proposal includes the two plans the President has already put forward — the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan — and reinvests in education, research, public health, and other foundations of our country’s strength.

The 2022 budget proposal includes more than $1.9 billion in new climate-related investments to conserve and manage natural resources, increase understanding of how natural resources are changing and what that means, build resilience to protect communities and lands from significant impacts, and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Specifically, the request includes more than $900 million in funding for Interior and the Department of Agriculture for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and also contains funding for wildland fire management, drought mitigation, and science-based investments that will help the Department and communities prepare for and address the aftermath of natural hazard events.

In addition, the 2022 budget proposal includes $4.2 billion, an increase of $727.8 million from the 2021 enacted level, across all Indian Affairs programs to support a new Indian Land Consolidation Program, which will address the problem of fractionated lands and enhance the ability of Tribal governments to plan for and adapt to climate change and to build stronger Tribal communities. The budget will also provide increases to strengthen Tribal natural resource programs, Tribal public safety, and efforts to provide leadership and direction for cross-departmental and interagency work involving missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native peoples.

Lastly as related to the DOE, the 2022 budget proposal includes an increase of $300 million to support jobs plugging orphan oil and gas wells, cleaning up abandoned mines, and decommissioning offshore oil and gas infrastructure. As part of this proposal, the budget includes $169 million for a new Energy Community Revitalization Program, which will help accelerate this remediation and reclamation work on Interior-managed lands and support work on non-federal lands through grants to states and Tribes.

The budget proposal also contains $86 million for the Civilian Climate Corps, an initiative to put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters. It also includes $249 million in funding to increase renewable energy production on public lands and in offshore waters, which will create jobs and help transition the country to a clean energy future. 

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