Overview of New “IRA” Law, EPA/DOE Climate/Clean Energy Elements

The DOE has included some loan guarantee provisions under the new law. Title 17 has been expanded. There is an Advanced Industrial Facilities Deployment Program that has $5.8 billion for assistance for those companies that improve or retrofit their facilities that reduce GHG emissions. There are $63 billion in DOE Industrial GHG Reduction Grants.

The DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office has an industrial emissions reduction technology program. The office will be split into two different offices. One will focus on industrial efficiency and decarbonization. The second will focus on advanced materials and manufacturing technologies.

There is a new Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee that companies can join. There are at least two FOAs for decarbonization technologies totaling nearly $200 million. The DOE has issued an Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap. This roadmap looks at 5 key industries. (iron and steel, chemicals, food and beverage, refining, and cement) There are 4 pillars of decarbonization: energy efficiency, electrification, low carbon fuels/energy resources, and CCS/CCUS.

The EPA received $41.5 billion for 24 new and existing programs. State “green banks” will get $27 billion. Climate pollution reduction at the state and local level are in line for $5 billion. Environmental Justice (EJ) and climate block grants get $3 billion. EPA OAR is in ramp up mode. Transportation and monitoring grants are included, including $5 million for states that adopt California standards for mobile sources. Monitoring activities will increase, including $117.5 million for fence line monitoring. There is $68 million for a low emissions electricity program. There is a corporate reporting program. $50 million will support improved air quality in schools. The bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided EPA with $100 million for emissions reduction in EJ communities.

The Supreme Court decisions in WV v EPA went against EPA. The regulation in question was the Clean Power Plan (CCP). The CPP proposed generation shifting as opposed to Best System of Emission Reduction (BSER). The Court stated that EPA did not follow BSER and therefore exceeded its authority. The Court stated that the statute did not give EPA the authority to shift generation. The decision did not violate Mass v EPA. EPA still has the authority to regulate GHGs. The IRA restates that GHGs are considered to be pollutants under the CAA. Thus, EPA still has the authority to regulate GHGs. It just has to use the proper tools.

  • Lisa Jaeger, Bracewell LLP