The Biden-Harris Administration Advances Cleaner Industrial Sector
On 15 February 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a series federal initiatives that seek to promote American leadership in clean manufacturing. As U.S. industry contributes to approximately one-third of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improving sectoral sustainability is essential to combat global climate change. By leveraging industry to achieve climate action, the Administration is realizing progress toward creating a carbon neutral economy, while simultaneously making strides to support climate justice.
Among the initiatives are a series major clean hydrogen projects—led by the U.S. Department of Energy and funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. To commercialize and proliferate domestic clean hydrogen, USD 8 billion will be allocated to a number of Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs. USD 1 billion will be dedicated to creating a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce the cost of hydrogen produced from clean electricity, and another USD 500 million will be dedicated to so-called Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Initiatives that strengthen domestic resource supply chains.
The Council on Environmental Quality and the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy are set to create a novel Buy Clean Task Force, which seeks to leverage federal purchasing power to support domestic low-carbon materials manufacturing. General Services Administration and the Department of Transportation will engage in new efforts to foster the adoption of low-carbon materials in construction projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. To compliment this enterprise, the State Department and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate have been tasked with obtaining corporate purchasing commitments for low-carbon materials and technologies through the First Movers Coalition. Additionally, the Biden Administration seeks to advance carbon-based trade policies to reward American manufacturers of clean steel and aluminum. In collaboration with the European Union, the Administration is acting to align both domestic and global trade with climate goals established in the Paris Agreement via the US-EU Steel and Aluminum Deal.
To further ensure climate mitigation, the Council on Environmental Quality will operationalize new guidance on responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies that reduce industrial emissions. Notably, the guidance is designed to support CCUS projects that reduce cumulative pollution impacts on disproportionately exposed communities and, consequently, champion environmental justice.
In an effort to advance innovation across the entire industrial sector through a just transition, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is leading an Initiative for Interdisciplinary Industrial Decarbonization Research, focused on improving the livelihoods of American workers and the circumstances of communities affected by the energy transition. Similarly, the Department of Energy is founding an Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee (ITIAC) to leverage the collective experiences and insights of a diverse group of stakeholders, which will be charged with devising a comprehensive strategy to lower the carbon footprint of American industry by equitable means.
The swath of exciting new initiatives, combined with further implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will reduce climate pollution from industrial facilities while working toward the attainment of a net-zero economy.