White House wants to boost green energy in communities reeling from coal plant shutdowns

The White House announced plans Tuesday designed to drive green energy investment in communities that have struggled to rebound from coal plant and other fossil fuel shutdowns. The Biden administration will provide billions of dollars in tax incentives for clean energy developers and facilities to build projects in applicable communities, according to a joint announcement from the White House, Treasury Department and Department of Energy (DOE). The bonuses are in addition to the generous tax credits for the green energy industry earmarked in the Inflation Reduction Act. “President Biden came to the White House to end years of big words but little action to help energy-producing parts of the country, who for decades saw jobs exported out and products imported in, all while other countries surpassed the United States in critical sectors like infrastructure, clean energy and semiconductors,” the White House said in a statement. “President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is already turning the tide, bringing manufacturing jobs back home and ensuring we rebuild our economy from the bottom-up and the middle-out, not top-down, so that no community is left behind.” COAL MINERS SLAM BIDEN AS WHITE HOUSE WALKS BACK ‘SHUT DOWN’ PLEDGE: ‘TRYING TO DESTROY THE COUNTRY’ As part of the actions, the Treasury Department and IRS released guidance outlining tax incentives to “incentivize more clean energy investment in energy communities, particularly coal communities.” The agencies will also create an online tool to help identify energy communities eligible for the bonuses. In addition, the DOE announced it would make $450 million from the 2021 infrastructure law available for clean energy demonstration projects on mine lands. The agency said “repurposing” land previously used for mines would provide “new economic opportunities for historic coal and mining communities.” NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES DEPENDENT ON FOSSIL FUEL RESOURCES RIP BIDEN ADMIN FOR DOUBLE STANDARD And the DOE will also make $16 million available to the University of North Dakota and West Virginia University for critical mineral refinery projects. “Today’s funding will support a first-in-the-nation facility that will convert legacy fossil fuel waste into a domestic source of critical minerals needed to strengthen our clean energy supply chains,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.  “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping reduce our overreliance on adversarial nations and positioning the country as a global manufacturing leader — while supporting communities that have helped power our nation for generations.” According to the White House, the announcement builds on more than $14 billion that the federal government has already infused in coal and power plant communities. It also builds on $7.4 billion in private sector investments that have been made in those communities. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has taken actions aimed at shutting down coal plants as part of its effort to fight climate change. When burned, coal produces more carbon dioxide emissions than any other fossil fuel. BIDEN DOUBLES DOWN ON GREEN ENERGY AS OPEC CUTS PRODUCTION, PRICES SOAR In 2021, the DOE let its National Coal Council charter lapse, effectively ending the 40-year-old coal production advisory panel. The Biden administration has also pursued emissions standards and restrictions targeting the coal industry. “We’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar power,” Biden remarked during an event in California in November.  “[It is] cheaper to generate electricity from wind and solar than it is from coal and oil. Literally cheaper. Not a joke.” About 58% of all U.S. electricity generation capacity expected to end this year will be from coal plants, federal data shows. And nearly 25% of the current operating coal-fired fleet — a staggering 46.1 gigawatts of capacity — is slated to retire by 2029. “It’s absolutely horrible,” Brandon Richardson, a West Virginia coal miner, told FOX Business last year. “I think this administration is trying to destroy the country with these thoughts of Green New Deal being the wave of the future when, as a country, we are definitely not set up for strictly wind, solar, water power, whatever you want to go to that’s green. “We just do not have the infrastructure in place to handle that,” he said. “And with the abundance of coal in this country and the way we’ve changed the regulations and the companies have changed to burn coal cleaner than pretty much any country out there, there’s really no reason to do away with something that can keep us energy independent.”
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