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With hopes fading for climate legislation, Biden Administration turns to federal agencies

As the Biden Administration faces the uncomfortable reality that its signature legislative initiative is being blocked by its own party in Congress, the President's policy people are turning to Federal agencies to salvage his climate agenda.

On Wednesday the White House announced a series of multi-agency collaborations to promote renewable energy development, sustainability, and climate justice initiatives.

The biggest of these is perhaps the Department of the Interior's announcement of a wind lease sale off the coast of New York and New Jersey that will generate up to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind power. Working the Commerce Department, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Interior and Department of Energy, the government will also make investments in ports and waterways to promote infrastructure development for staging and construction of turbines and sustainable ocean use.

Meanwhile the Department of Defense is working with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy and the environmental Protection Agency to accelerate reviews and permitting for solar, wind and geothermal energy development on Federal land. That's another 4.175 gigawatts of energy which will be built if the President's agenda and party's hold on Congress can continue.

Finally, and critically, the Department of Energy is launching a bid to accelerate the deployment of new transmission lines that can move renewable energy more effectively and better manage the variable transmission of renewable power on the existing energy grid.

"The Administration continues to use every tool available to deploy clean energy at a record pace," the White House said in a statement.

But it also acknowledged how important the passage of the Build Back Better Act is to achieve its renewable energy goals.

"[To] fully seize the opportunities of a clean energy economy, President Biden is pressing forward on passing the Build Back Better Act," the White House wrote. "The historic legislation will amount to the nation’s largest investment in combatting climate change, lowering energy costs for working families, and building a clean energy future."

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