Infrastructure Act – Recent Major Funding Actions
Recent major funding actions related to the 2021 Infrastructure Act include:
EPA (4-19-23). Announced the release of its proposed program and competition framework in support of the use of $27 billion in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The agency is currently only seeking feedback on the framework proposal.
Energy (3-8-23). Announced the start of its process for the distribution of $6 billion within the Infrastructure Act provided for decarbonization of US manufacturing under Energy's Industrial Demonstrations Program. The application process will run through the summer.
EPA (10-26-22). Announced the distribution of nearly $1B in funding to states for the replacement of school buses with clean vehicles. Nearly 2,500 buses will be purchased through this funding. This is the first year of a five year, $5B program.
Energy (10-20-22). Awarded through a competitive process, $2.8 billion to 20 companies to build and/or expand commercial-scale production and processing facilities around the United States covering the extraction and processing of minerals, and the production of needed battery inputs critical to the future of US domestic battery manufacturing.
Major Hydrogen Energy Project Loan
The Department of Energy announced (June 8th) a large Federal loan guarantee, more than $504 million, for the largest clean hydrogen storage facility to be built in the world. The Advanced Clean Energy Storage Hub project will be located in Delta, Utah. The company building the project – ACESDelta – says the project will “initially” convert over 220 MW of renewable energy (e.g. wind, solar) to 100 metric tonnes per day of hydrogen, which will then be stored in two salt caverns with initial capacity of more than 300 GWh of clean energy that can be redeployed when it is needed.
The intent of the facility is to feed energy to the local power generating facility, which is converting out of coal and to natural gas and hydrogen by 2025. The ACESDelta facility intends to provide the powerplant with 30% of its energy needs via hydrogen energy, with a long-term goal of powering the plant with 100% hydrogen energy by 2045.
The EPA awarded (May 13, 2022) nearly $255 million in funding for Brownfields projects within 265 U.S. communities. The Infrastructure Law enacted last year provided $1.5 billion over five years for this purpose in supplemental funding, and nearly $180 million was utilized from the new law with remaining funding of $75 million coming from regular annual resources.
Of the $255 million, about $113 million will be used for assessments (e.g.,environmental assessments, planning), with remaining funding ($142 million) in grants and loans to carry out cleanup and redevelopment activities. The EPA claims that since 1995, the program has leveraged $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment of more than 9,500 properties made ready for reuse.
Infrastructure Act - Enactment
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (i.e., the "Infrastructure Act") was enacted into law on November 15, 2021 (P.L. 117-58). The law provides a significant investment of new funding (i.e., funding above current levels) totaling $550 billion over five years, and provides $443 billion in new appropriated resources for the programs, including about $177 billion in FY 2022 alone.
Detail on major funding items can be found in a White House-released "guidebook" for State and local governments. New funding highlights of Infrastructure Act include:
$110 billion for roads, bridges, and related major projects
$66 billion for freight and passenger rail (i.e., Amtrak)
$65 billion for high-speed internet (i.e., "Broadband)
$65 billion for clean energy and power grid infrastructure
$55 billion for water infrastructure
$47.2 billion for resiliency-focused infrastructure
$39.2 billion for public transit systems
$25 billion for airports
$21 billion for cleanup of legacy pollution
$16.6 billion for ports & waterways
$11 billion for safety-related projects (e.g., pedestrian)
$8.3 billion for western water infrastructure
There are many new and updated provisions associated with the use of these funds. For example, while established cost sharing between states and the Federal Government under existing programs generally remain, new activities and programs are established to permit upwards of 100% financing by the Federal Government.
In addition, established program authorities are updated to permit a wider range of activities to meet policy goals (e.g., warming resiliency, wildlife crossings, bike trails, electric vehicle charging, etc.).
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This website of the U.S. Department of Energy contains information on Federal gasoline and diesel taxes per gallon, and also includes a link to current State gasoline tax levels.
Status: no changes in Federal gasoline taxes are currently under consideration in 2022.
Competition in the American Economy / EO
This Executive Order (14036) is an amalgam of policy positions under a "competition" policy umbrella. For the most part, these policies are proposed in that they "encourage", "suggest", or instruct/direct agencies to do something related to each policy request.
Status: this EO was published on July 14, 2021.
National Recycling Strategy
This is the National Recycling Strategy for the United States as developed by the EPA. The strategy is framed around five strategic policy objectives: (1) improve markets for recycling commodities; (2) increase collection and improve materials management infrastructure; (3) reduce contamination in the recycled materials stream; (4) enhance policies to support recycling; and, (5) standardize measurement and increase data collection.
Status: this strategy was adopted on November 15, 2021.