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Democratic members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee have proposed $2.6 billion in funding for weather and climate change research at federal agencies as part of the committee’s $45.5 billion share of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. The move comes as President Biden confirms he will be attending the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this November, and on the heels of a devastating, natural disaster-filled summer.
Why This Matters: The U.S. is in a climate crisis. This past summer, drought, wildfires, and heat domes battered the West, while hurricanes and tropical storms drowned the Southern and East coasts. Climate scientists say that every one of these events can be linked to climate change and rising global temperatures. As the nation invests in significant clean energy projects and updated infrastructure, climate adaptation must be a priority to save lives. Funding more climate research will help the nation prepare for climate disasters before they happen, and build climate resilience into new nationwide infrastructure like power grids, highways, and more.
Money, Money, Money
The measure would include $1.2 billion for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs like tornado, hurricane, wildfire, and drought forecasting. Additionally, it would include:
$765 million for NOAA research into climate adaptation and resilience.
$264 million for climate-related research and development at the EPA.
$388 million for climate-related programs at NASA.
Other measures in the committee’s reconciliation include $1.2 billion for advancing nuclear fusion and $1.1 billion toward a variety of clean energy projects. It also includes $80 million in grants that would help firefighters access PFAS-free equipment and supplies, after PFAS in protective gear were found to increase cancer risk.
Additionally, the administration announced on Wednesday a plan to produce 45% of the nation’s electricity using solar power by 2050, which last year represented only 4% of US energy production. Accomplishing this will require solar infrastructure to grow exponentially by 2030. “One of the things we’re hoping that people see and take from this report is that it is affordable to decarbonize the grid,”said Becca Jones-Albertus, the director of the Solar Energy Technology Office in the Department of Energy. “The grid will remain reliable. We just need to build.”
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The White House is considering new clean energy strategies for President Biden’s budget package to potentially replace measures blocked by coal-state Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The administration is considering an expansion of grants and loans for agricultural and industrial businesses to help them transition to cleaner energy, […]
While Senator Joe Manchin leads the opposition to climate provisions in President Biden’s budget bill, his own state is the most exposed to floods in the nation, according to new data released this month by the nonprofit organization First Street Foundation. Over 60% of West Virginia’s power stations are at risk, twice the average and […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Documents obtained by Greenpeace UK’s investigative journalism team Unearthed reveal that many coal and oil-rich nations have urged the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to water down its upcoming report on the world’s options to fight climate change successfully. Thousands of comments were sent to the IPCC’s […]
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