Mar 29, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Climate and energy takeaways from Biden's budget pitch

Biden
Joe Biden announces his Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 along with Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young on March 28. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

White House budget proposals arrive on Capitol Hill written in pencil at best, but the new Biden administration plan nonetheless has provisions and messages worth watching.

Driving the news: The fiscal year 2023 request unveiled Monday would boost government-wide spending on climate and clean energy programs to almost $45 billion, the White House said.

A few takeaways ...

1. It goes big on global aid. The White House is asking Congress for over $11 billion for programs to help other countries cut emissions and adapt to warming.

  • That's a tenfold boost to what Congress approved this year, per the New York Times, which notes the request faces an "uphill battle."
  • $11.4 billion is a level the White House had previously sought by 2024. Officials "may be hoping for a friendlier reception on Capitol Hill, given the chance Democrats lose control of Congress in the November midterm elections," Bloomberg reports.

2. It leaves Biden's clean energy bill in suspended animation. The request lacks key provisions of the plan formerly known as "Build Back Better," notably a major expansion of clean power and electric vehicle tax incentives.

  • But there's a "deficit neutral reserve fund" to accommodate the potential for reaching a deal on clean energy and social spending legislation with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)

3. It's not just about the money. Biden's proposal also contains several windows into how the administration is specifically looking to reshape and expand key programs.

  • The White House is asking Congress to widen the scope of the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to include R&D on innovations in climate adaptation and resilience.

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