EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund an opportunity to advance environmental justice and extend clean energy benefits to all

Ceres Director of Federal Policy Zach Friedman issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its initial guidance for the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a measure within the Inflation Reduction Act designed to spur clean energy investment and deployment in low-income and marginalized communities: 

“The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a key financing tool within the Inflation Reduction Act that provides a clear market signal for investors and companies to empower the communities that have been too often ignored yet are most at risk from the effects of the climate crisis. The grant-making process announced by the EPA today allows this important work to begin moving forward toward delivering jobs, lowering burdensome utility costs, and cleaning the air in these communities. We look forward to engaging with our private sector partners, our Community Development Financial Institution and Green Bank colleagues, and community-based organizations. Together, we can ensure that strong proposals for development and investment that expand the benefits of the clean energy economy to all are put before the EPA.” 

Ceres submitted a letter to the EPA as the agency shaped its guidance for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, calling for the program to “attend to both well-grounded principles of environmental justice and sound principles of clean energy and community investment.” Specifically, Ceres provided the EPA with the following recommendations to meet the program’s environmental justice goals:  

  • Work with existing local financial institutions embedded in their communities; 
  • Ensure the funding benefits targeted communities;  
  • Prioritize projects and proposals focused on residential building electrification, energy efficiency, and distributed energy in low-income and disadvantaged communities, as well as clean technology workforce development. 

Ceres worked with leading companies and investors throughout 2021 and 2022 to support passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and ensure a strong domestic clean energy industry, supply chain, and manufacturing base. Since passage of the landmark climate and clean energy law, Ceres has been closely engaged in its implementation to maximize its climate, equity, and economic benefits. In addition to its letter on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, Ceres submitted comments about parts of the law relating to clean vehicle tax credits, climate-smart agriculture, and energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits in commercial buildings.  

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