The Biden administration on Tuesday celebrated the tens of billions of dollars in environmental spending in the year since President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The White House said the law, which Biden signed Nov. 15, 2021, has released a “once-in-a-generation investment” in U.S. infrastructure, citing rebuilt roads and public transit, expanded access to high-speed internet and a wide range of environmental projects that will be funded by the law.
“To date, the administration has announced over $185 billion in funding and over 6,900 specific projects reaching over 4,000 communities across all 50 states, D.C. and the territories,” the White House said. The bulk of that funding, $120 billion, went to highway and bridge projects across the country, and another $20 billion has been spent on public transit.
But billions were also directed to environmental projects. The White House said more than $7 billion was spent on environmental cleanup projects, $1.6 billion was used to buy “no emission transit buses,” $1.5 billion funded EV charging infrastructure and $1 billion was directed to an “America the Beautiful” challenge that will go toward conservation efforts.
More than $3 billion went toward “residential energy retrofitting” and weatherization as part of an effort to make low-income homes “healthier and more energy efficient.”
Another $2.8 billion went to “clean energy and advanced batteries” companies that committed to Biden’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility agenda.
And $2.3 billion was spent on projects to “strengthen and modernize America’s power grid.”
And the administration started the process of spending $7 billion to “jump-start America’s clean hydrogen economy.”
The Department of Energy backed many of these programs, and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the law is “working to lower energy costs for Americans and ensuring that high-quality union jobs are growing across American-made clean energy industries.”
Several other federal agencies noted the billions they spent on climate-related programs. The Department of Commerce used $3 billion from the infrastructure bill for “climate resiliency.”
“As we approach this anniversary, I’m proud of the progress the Commerce Department has made in implementing and delivering on the promises of this bill, including placing equity at the center of our work to ensure all Americans benefit from these investments,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it spent $9 billion on water infrastructure and clean water initiatives around the country, which it said would create “good-paying jobs, combat the climate crisis and advance environmental justice.”
“EPA is committed to leveraging this once-in-a-generation investment to secure a future that is healthier, safer and more just for all,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.
The Department of Agriculture spent several billion on the provision of high-speed internet services, flood prevention projects and projects aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires.
“Since being signed into law, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is demonstrating how building up American infrastructure enhances competitiveness and improves climate resilience while building a stronger, more equitable and inclusive economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.