After signing the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law last month, the Biden Administration is now laser-focused on pursuing its climate-related agenda items. Hundreds of millions of dollars are headed out the door as we speak to fund green projects that will help transition the nation away from fossil fuels, reduce carbon emissions, and create millions of new jobs in the process. This week, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm toured cities across the Northeast highlighting the White House’s unprecedented investment in fighting climate change. Ali Velshi got to catch up with her on one leg of the trip, at the Port of Providence in Rhode Island to discuss the country’s “clean energy future.”
Associated Press: Energy secretary: Offshore wind brings ‘gust’ of job growth
Granholm visited a new offshore wind manufacturing hub in Providence to talk about the Biden administration’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and to promote the investments in the $1 trillion infrastructure deal.
“More offshore wind means more jobs for iron workers, line workers, engineers, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters,” she said. “Jobs in mining and manufacturing and management and operations and sales, not to mention of course the benefit to surrounding communities.”
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At a time when the state should be electrifying 100,000 households a year, Massachusetts electrified just 461 homes in 2020, according to a Globe analysis. Despite state support for electrification, many residents have struggled to find contractors who understand that heat pumps can fully heat a home, even in a Massachusetts winter. That disconnect is a place where the federal government can help, Granholm said.
“We are really expanding the way we look at … residential buildings,” she said. The Biden Administration’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package will include money for home improvements — whether it’s insulation or roofing — that prepare a building for electrification, as well as funds for education about what heat pumps can do. “If you’ve got leadership that says this is going to happen, then the building installers … will have to adapt and learn this trade,” Granholm said. “Clearly there is a gap, and we want to fill that gap through training.”
Malden mom Cindy Yu faced the ultimate utility nightmare last winter: her boiler broke down, literally leaving her family out in the cold. But a local nonprofit stepped in to save the day, replacing her boiler through a weatherization program that just got a $3.5 billion bump from the newly passed federal infrastructure bill.
“Cindy is one of millions of people across the country who has taken advantage of the weatherization assistance program. That funding just got a lot bigger,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. […] “We want to amplify that weatherization is hugely beneficial for citizens, especially now that we are experiencing higher heating bills,” Granholm said.