The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $20 billion funding push for startups and local communities investing in green technology Friday morning.
The funding is broken into two grant competitions, the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund, which will support “two-to-three” financial institutions that will, in turn, fund climate startups and other green initiatives, and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator, which will support between two and seven “hub nonprofit organizations” to develop green projects in low-income communities, according to the EPA. The funding comes from the Biden administration’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), which the EPA must spend by September 30, 2024, thanks to a mandate by Democratic lawmakers designed to shield the fund from Republican efforts to repeal it and other aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“The President and I set ambitious goals to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050—the investments announced today move our nation towards achieving these goals and a cleaner, healthier future for generations to come,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in the press release. “Students, small business owners and community leaders with innovative ideas to reduce our emissions and accelerate our clean energy transition will now see their projects become reality, all while creating good-paying jobs and a clean energy economy that works for all.”
Republicans have proposed clawing back roughly $7.8 billion of this funding as part of their budget for the federal government in fiscal year 2024, with GOP Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama referring to the bill as a “taxpayer-funded $27 billion slush fund,” according to The Washington Post. Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho argued that reductions are “necessary to right-size” the “excessive level of funding” that the EPA and other federal agencies “received outside of the regular appropriations process.”
EPA Administrator Michael Regan pointed out that many projects backed by the IRA have been located in Republican districts, in a statement to the Post.
“We have $27 billion to design a very effective program that, by the way, will go in all districts — red, blue and independent districts,” Regan told the outlet. “This is about investing in America.”
The EPA did not immediately reply to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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