President Joe Biden has unveiled his highly-anticipated monumental infrastructure bill designed to clean up America’s energy sector and significantly rein in the carbon footprint of the U.S. economy. Geared towards placing the country on a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2020, the bill is seen as one of the boldest federal efforts ever made to promote clean energy in the country.
Called the American Jobs Plan, the bill proposes more than $2 trillion in spending, covering environmental projects and infrastructure projects around the nation. The bill sets aside some $147 billion to boost the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, build a national network of charging stations, and facilitate the development of green technology projects.
Currently, EVs account for only 2% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. But the network of charging stations is a priority for the Biden administration, with more than half a million charging stations expected to be commissioned within the next decade. The government is also looking to incentivize people to buy electric instead of gas-powered vehicles and for EV-allied businesses to ramp up the domestic supply of components.
Another ambitious part of the bill is a proposal to upgrade the nation’s water system, replacing lead pipes across the length and breadth of the nation and introducing other measures to provide access to safe drinking water for all.
Massive figures have also been earmarked for building better roads, bridges, and ports, including a $100 billion marked apart to upgrade the nation’s electric grid to reinforce it against disruptions from extreme weather like the recent winter storm that crippled Texas’ power grid.
The President is also proposing a plan to retrofit millions of homes to enhance energy efficiency, and to run a trust with some $35 billion for research and development of technologies like carbon capture and storage, offshore wind, etc., which will lead to the reduction of carbon emissions and job creation.
The proposal has received mixed reactions from the climate change community, with some lauding it as a giant step, while others believe it’s still far of the mark of changes needed for a zero-carbon future.