The Biden administration plans to put forward a major infrastructure package to fulfill the president’s pledge to “build back better.” This package should include an investment of $5 billion over five years in cost-shared demonstration projects that seek to drastically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heavy industries such as steel, cement, and chemicals. These industries account for a large and growing proportion of U.S. and global GHG emissions. Many promising solutions for industrial emissions are being developed, but only a few are being demonstrated on a large scale, due to the risk and cost. Nearly all of these demonstration projects are sited outside the United States.
A substantial investment in industrial decarbonization demonstration projects in the United States, complemented by other policies—such as a substantial increase in research and development (R&D) spending, “Buy Clean” federal procurement standards, and other “demand-pull” policies—would put the United States’ unmatched innovation resources to work in a globally vital cause. It would also thrust U.S. vendors and producers to the forefront of an emerging global competition to implement the most-effective climate solutions in emission-intensive industries in the coming decades. Success in this competition would bring jobs and economic activity to the United States.