AUSTIN, TX--On Friday, November 19th, the US House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). Although the legislation still faces a number of challenges as it moves through the senate, this is a monumental step towards reducing pollution, investing in renewable energy, cleaning up toxic sites, and protecting our lands, waters and wildlife.
Investments to tackle the climate crisis include:
A 10-year extension and expansion of clean energy tax incentives, which would decrease the cost of installing rooftop solar by up to 30% and take up to $12,500 off the cost of an electric vehicle
Funding to electrify postal service vehicles and other heavy duty vehicles such as garbage trucks and school busses
Expansion of tax credits to help low and middle income families purchase electric vehicles and electric bikes
Replacing 5 million lead pipes to help bring clean water to communities nationwide
Supporting the efforts of farmers to shift to more sustainable agricultural practices that reduce topsoil erosion and produce healthier, safer foods
“Tax credits have played a critical role in lowering the cost of wind and solar power over the last decade, bringing renewables in reach for more Americans and boosting the clean energy market,” said Lennis Barlow, Clean Energy Associate for Environment Texas. “But with some current incentives set to expire at the end of December, the Build Back Better Act keeps our energy system moving in the right direction.”
Texas, as a result of its high potential for and early leadership in clean energy, is uniquely well positioned to benefit from the implementation of this bill. According to a recent report by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center, Texas is among the top performing states in the country in nearly every category of renewable energy development. Texas leads the country in wind power and is second in the country in solar power and battery storage capacity. As fast growing as the renewable industry is in Texas, however, it makes up only 25% of total energy usage, with the state still highly reliant on fossil fuels for its electricity needs.
The Build Back Better bill also allocates $65 billion towards upgrading electric transmission grid infrastructure which will improve reliability, resiliency, and facilitate the growth of clean, renewable energy.