Congressman introduces LIFT Act to incentivize transition to clean energy

Staff Report

Congressman Troy Carter (D-LA), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the House version of the Local Infrastructure Funding & Technical Assistance Act of 2022, or the LIFT Act.

According to a news release from Carter, it is the companion bill to Sen. Edward J. Markey’s (D-MA) version in the Senate, S.2552.

This legislation would give the federal government the tools it needs to create the next generation of resilient climate infrastructure innovation, the release read.

The LIFT Act would provide $15 billion in grants to help communities across the country launch their green infrastructure projects through the critical predevelopment stage.

“As our nation continues to battle COVID-19 and a severe economic downturn, the LIFT Act picks up where other historic legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act left off to continue our nation’s economic recovery and energize our existential battle against the climate crisis,” Carter stated in the news release. “By providing funding into the communities that need it the most – the LIFT Act will allow our country to better overcome predevelopment roadblocks and realize the enormous potential that recent historic federal investments have to jumpstart transformative climate-resilient infrastructure.”

Specifically, the LIFT Act promotes long-term economic recovery and job creation in underserved communities through a total of $15 billion in grants up to $500,000 through the Economic Development Agency, he said.

It is estimated that these projects will leverage $16-$20 in economic benefits for every dollar spent, unleashing up to $300 billion in total, according to the release. Out of these funds, $10 billion are reserved for climate resilient infrastructure project predevelopment and $5 billion for technical assistance.

Equity provisions included in the legislation would ensure these grant investments support community-driven projects and reach historically disinvested communities and those with the greatest need, he said. The bill directs at least 50 percent of funding to be allocated to eligible groups in this category such as economic development districts, Tribal communities, cities and states, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations.

The legislation further prioritizes projects with goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, to increase climate adaptation and resiliency, that result in major public health improvements, and will help modernize communities.

This legislation is also supported by many advocacy organizations including Groundswell, Elevate, Northeast Clean Energy Council, Capacity Building at the Greenling Institute, American Flood Coalition, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute, Hummingbird, Partnership for Southern Equity, GreenRoots, Inc.