Biden bets big on industrial decarbonization project

Industrial production takes third in the United States’ emissions. (INFORMATION: United States Environmental Protection Agency)
Industrial production takes third in the United States’ emissions. (INFORMATION: United States Environmental Protection Agency)
Olympia Wolff

At the end of March, a roughly $7 billion dollar project was announced by the Biden-Harris administration. According to a White House fact sheet, the project includes 33 industrial projects in over 20 states.

The goal of the investment is to lower the carbon emission rates in carbon-intensive industries. There are numerous positive side-effects of the project, including supporting good-paying union jobs, strengthening the nation’s manufacturing industry, and revitalizing industrial

The investment focuses on decarbonizing the highest emitting industries, including the production of aluminum and other metals, cement,
concrete, chemicals, and refining. The project is expected to reduce more than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to emissions of 3 million cars. According to the Department of Energy in March, this is the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in American history.

Although this project is a huge step forward in decarbonizing the industrial system and lowering the number of fossil fuels, there has been some criticism about how long it took the Biden administration and the Department of Energy to advance these plans.

“I think he definitely put it off, but it also could be hard to convince the businesses to get on board with the project, because it probably is less cost-effective,” junior Lucas Granja said.

Making this investment now, during Biden’s re-election campaign, instead of earlier in his presidency, could be a strategic move to increase his chances of being reelected.

Freshman January Cook sees the recent change as aspirational: “I think it’s great that they’re doing this project but I think their proposed goal of cutting all carbon emissions by 2050 is too ambitious and unrealistic,” Cook said.

Cook believes that we should follow a similar anti-carbon plan to some European countries, like Sweden.

I like their ideas, but I disagree with how it’s being done.

— January Cook

“Everyone takes buses and trains or walks, and very few people drive. I do think that would be hard to instill in America
though,” Cook added. “I like their ideas, but I disagree with how it’s being done.”

“The next steps after this would be to try to completely eliminate fossil fuel emissions from the large-scale industries. Obviously, that would be a lot of work and money but I think that should be the ultimate goal,” Granja added.

The Department of Energy and the Biden administration have been working towards other similar projects, such as a new decarbonization plan for homes and buildings, aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 90% in 2050.

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