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EPA, vice president target low-income communities in $20B of awards

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Grant awards of $20 billion toward the Biden administration’s green agenda were announced by the EPA on Thursday morning and in a signature ceremony featuring Vice President Kamala Harris while in North Carolina during the afternoon.

Sharing in $14 billion of the awards through the National Clean Investment Fund are the Climate United Fund ($6.97 billion), Coalition for Green Capital ($5 billion), and Power Forward Communities ($2 billion). Sharing in the remainder through the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator program are the Opportunity Finance Network ($2.29 billion), Inclusiv ($1.87 billion), Justice Climate Fund ($940 million), Appalachian Community Capital ($500 million) and Native CDFI Network ($400 million).

Among those with Harris in Charlotte were Michael Regan, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C.; and Gov. Roy Cooper.

Tens of thousands of climate and clean energy projects, a release from the White House says, will benefit from the national financing network. Those chosen were “especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities.”

The EPA’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is funded by the $891 billion Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Projects that can be accomplished through the various nonprofits include things such as residential heat pumps, energy-efficient home improvements, electric vehicle charging stations and community cooling centers.

Harris’ visit was her second in as many weeks and fourth since Jan. 1.

The occasion was also used as a stump for President Joe Biden. Democrats are hoping to reverse a half-century of patterned history in which voters from the state have picked the Republican candidate 12 of the last 14 times (Jimmy Carter 1976, Barack Obama 2008) starting with Richard Nixon in 1968.