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VP Harris, other officials tout Biden administration's new environmental grants

Kamala Harris at a podium
Zachary Turner
Kamala Harris speaks to a Charlotte audience to tout the Biden Administration's environmental accomplishments and new grants.

Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan joined state and city leaders in Charlotte on Thursday to announce the recipients of federal grants aimed at promoting private investment in clean energy projects. 

Regan, who formerly led North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, announced a major new investment in clean energy through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

"Today, we are introducing to the world eight applicants who will receive awards totaling $20 billion across two of the GGRF grant competitions," he said, speaking at the Naomi Drenan Recreation Center in southeast Charlotte.

The two grant programs, the National Clean Investment Fund and Clean Communities Investment Accelerator, aim to finance community-led clean energy and climate projects.

Don't miss WFAE's 2024 Carolinas Climate Summit on April 18. We have an exciting lineup of speakers who will address the impact of climate change on the Carolinas; climate and environmental justice; solutions; individual action; and other key issues that are shaping our region.

Harris pointed to the investments’ potential to promote capital equity in underserved communities, funding improvements in areas that have long lacked access to funds that can power green investments.

"Today, I visited Grier Heights. As many of you know, it is a historically Black neighborhood in Charlotte," Harris said. She spoke with a resident in Grier Heights, where 49 homes have been upgraded with financial assistance from Self-Help Credit Union, a member of one of the eight nonprofits receiving funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to finance home upgrades.

"Soon, 30,000 more families will have the funds they need to replace drafty windows and install better insulation to keep their homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. And here in North Carolina, to help you lower that monthly Duke Energy Bill," she said.

It’s Harris’s second visit to North Carolina in two weeks — a sign of the state’s looming importance for November. Harris also opened a campaign office in uptown Charlotte, one of 10 the Biden campaign plans to debut in the state. Democrats hope to flip the state blue for the first time since 2008.

Gov. Roy Cooper said the grant money will go to a variety of groups that can try different climate solutions.

"There are so many great ideas and strategies out there that have been proven and that can work and they just need the funding to get it done," he said. "In just the last few years, with the help of the Inflation Reduction Act, North Carolina has become an epicenter of the clean energy economy with billions of dollars invested and thousands of great paying jobs coming to North Carolina."

The eight organizations receiving funding focus on housing finance and lending to green energy infrastructure projects. These include the Coalition for Green Capital, Power Forward Communities and Appalachian Community Capital.


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Zachary Turner is a climate reporter and author of the WFAE Climate News newsletter. He freelanced for radio and digital print, reporting on environmental issues in North Carolina.