Biden Administration Invests $6 Billion to Decarbonize US Industrial Facilities

by Alice

In a historic move to combat climate change, the Biden administration announced on Monday a record $6 billion investment aimed at decarbonizing US industrial facilities. This initiative targets industries known for their significant carbon footprint, including cement, concrete, iron, steel, and even food production plants responsible for everyday favorites like mac and cheese and ice cream.


The industrial sector accounts for roughly 25% of the nation’s emissions and has proven particularly challenging to decarbonize due to its energy-intensive, large-scale operations. This new funding, sourced from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will support 33 demonstration projects across more than 20 states, marking a significant step towards achieving a cleaner and more sustainable future for American industry.

“These technologies are replicable, scalable, and will set a new gold standard for clean manufacturing in the United States and around the world,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm during a media call.
White House climate advisor Ali Zaidi emphasized the impact of this investment, stating that it aims to eliminate 14 million metric tons of pollution annually, equivalent to taking approximately 3 million cars off the road.

Among the funded projects are:

Constellium in Ravenswood, West Virginia: This project will establish the first-ever zero-carbon aluminum casting plant and implement low-emission furnaces capable of utilizing clean fuels like hydrogen. Constellium produces aluminum for various products, including cars and airplanes.

Kraft Heinz: This food giant will install heat pumps, electric heaters, and electric boilers to decarbonize food production at 10 facilities, including its mac and cheese production plant in Holland, Michigan.

Cleveland-Cliffs Steel Corporation in Middletown, Ohio: This project will see the retirement of one blast furnace and the installation of two electric furnaces, along with the adoption of hydrogen-based ironmaking technology. This initiative aims to eliminate 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually from the largest steel supplier to the US automotive industry.

Heidelberg Materials US Inc in Mitchell, Indiana: This project will involve building a system to capture and store carbon underground, aiming to capture at least 95% of the cement plant’s carbon dioxide emissions, preventing 2 million tons from entering the atmosphere each year.

Ice Cream Manufacturers: Over $20 million will be allocated to support ice cream manufacturers in Tennessee, Missouri, and Vermont in their decarbonization efforts.

Industry leaders and experts have expressed optimism about the potential of these projects. Mike Ireland, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association, believes that the innovative technologies being implemented in the US can serve as a model for developing countries to build infrastructure more sustainably.

Todd Tucker, director of industrial policy and trade at the Roosevelt Institute, highlights the significance of tackling emissions in heavy industries, noting that decarbonizing even a few key facilities can have a substantial impact on the country’s overall carbon footprint. He further emphasizes the potential for global impact by exporting these technologies once proven successful.

While decarbonizing the electricity and transportation sectors has been a central focus in climate discussions, heavy industries present a unique challenge due to their reliance on fossil fuels for high-heat processes. This new wave of funding aims to overcome these hurdles and pave the way for a cleaner and more sustainable future for American industry.

“Getting this off the ground with these first few projects is going to be really useful for convincing industry and Wall Street that this transition is possible,” said Tucker. “The first trick is showing it’s viable in one project. Once you do that, then the private and public sectors can come up with strategies for the rest of the problem.”

This substantial investment by the Biden administration marks a significant step towards decarbonizing the industrial sector and achieving a greener future for the United States.


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