States team up in fierce race for EPA climate grants

Source: By Adam Aton, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2024

State coalitions might have a better shot at receiving big payouts from the Inflation Reduction Act if they propose cross-border projects, a new report says.

EPA headquarters in Washington.

EPA is deciding which states will receive a slice of $4.3 billion in grants for climate projects. Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Generous federal grants are inducing some states to improve their climate policies, according to a new analysis of an Inflation Reduction Act program.

Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG), one of the most flexible EPA programs included in the Inflation Reduction Act, offered every state $3 million to develop decarbonization plans, followed by the opportunity to compete for a slice of $4.3 billion to implement them. Almost every state participated, along with many cities, leading some places to produce their first-ever climate plans.

Now, EPA is deciding which ones deserve federal funding, with the largest awards valued at $500 million. The agency said it expects to announce the winners later this summer. The plans are revealing that some states have big ambitions that reach beyond their borders.

That’s according to Evergreen Action, the climate policy and advocacy group that helped shape President Joe Biden’s climate law. The group released a report Wednesday outlining some of the strongest state plans — including some that seek a competitive edge through cooperation.