Pathways to build back better: Nearly a gigaton on the table in Congress

Read the full story from Rhodium Group.

It’s drafting time in Congress. Committees in the House are working hard to flesh out the size and scope of climate and clean energy investments in legislation as part of the broad $3.5 trillion, ten-year budget package. The bill will contain new investments to cut emissions and an array of actions to address several policy priorities shared by the White House and congressional leadership. Up until this point, estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions implications of congressional action has been challenging because of a lack of legislative text. With key committees recently reporting out and marking up their contributions, the picture is becoming clearer.

In this note, we examine the programs that stand out so far and quantify their aggregate impact on US emissions. We find that the six investments we consider can cut US GHG emissions by up to nearly 1 billion tons in 2030 compared to no action. That is up to ten times larger than the impacts we quantified for the Energy Act of 2020, enacted at the end of last year. It’s roughly equivalent to zeroing out annual emissions from all light-duty vehicles on the road or the annual emissions from Texas and Florida combined. This is before counting the impact of additional programs that may get included in the package, so there is potential for more impact as the bill comes together in the next few weeks.

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