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How will H.R. 5376 help the United States Build Back Better?

November 22, 2021 Category: Industry, Policy, Transportation Work Area: Advanced Nuclear

A summary of Build Back Better Act measures that seek to drive economic development along a low-carbon trajectory

Complementing the bipartisan infrastructure plan signed into law on November 15, 2021, the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) will support economic recovery by investing in a range of social programs1 while accelerating efforts to transform energy use and agricultural practices to reduce climate pollution by 50-52% by 2030 from 2005 levels. H.R. 5376 passed the House of Representatives on November 19, 2021. The bill is expected to be taken up by the Senate in December.

Of the $1.7 trillion total spending—the vast majority paid for by revenue-raising measures2—the Act directs an historic $555 billion (roughly 32 percent of the bill) to climate change and clean energy. This includes a broad set of programs and tax incentives to adopt low- and zero-carbon solutions and enhance resilience across major sectors of the economy. In total, the White House estimates these programs will reduce emissions by more than one billion metric tons (1 GT) in 2030 compared to business as usual. The bill supports jobs and economic growth, providing extra incentives to produce clean energy technologies in the U.S. The bill’s clean energy provisions include important protections for American workers including bonus incentives for domestic content and prevailing wage levels. It also directs 40 percent of the benefits of investment to low-income and disadvantaged communities. Additional incentives encourage investment in energy communities needing support for the transition away from fossil fuels.

Highlights of the climate and energy programs are provided below. Key measures are loosely organized by sector, recognizing that some innovative technologies will support greenhouse gas emissions reductions in more than one sector.