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State awarded $3 million in federal funds for climate impact study


State awarded $3 million in federal funds for climate impact study

Mar 31, 2023 | 5:57 pm ET
By Paul Hammel
State awarded $3 million in federal funds for climate impact study
(Getty Images)

LINCOLN — The State of Nebraska has been awarded $3 million in federal funds to develop plans to cut climate pollution and build a clean energy economy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the grant, and a similar one for Missouri, this week. Funds came from the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program that was part of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Funds will be used to develop a climate action plan in collaboration with municipalities and organizations, according to a press release from the EPA, and to engage with low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Funds will ‘speed’ development of climate plans

The funds will also “speed” the development of such plans to address a pressing issue, according to EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister.

The EPA, later this year, will begin distribution of $4.6 billion in additional climate reduction grants.

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has submitted a letter of interest in applying for more grants. But a spokeswoman said Wednesday that whether or not the department applies will depend on whether funds fit state goals.

Earlier this month, the NDEE, in a news release, said its climate plan will include expanding climate-resilient agriculture, promoting electric grid upgrades, improving soil health and encouraging innovation.

Hope state ‘seizes other opportunities’

John Crabtree of the Sierra Club of Nebraska said Wednesday he hopes the state and NDEE are eager to seize other opportunities “to reduce climate pollution, create jobs and economic opportunities in Nebraska, and also create a better, cleaner energy future for all Nebraskans.”

“There are hundreds of revenue streams emanating from the Inflation Reduction Act, the EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Program is one early, important example of what the IRA can and will do,” Crabtree said in an email.

Last year, the Legislature allocated $150,000 to update a state climate change assessment done in 2014.