Good Climate News

Good Climate News this Week: $1 Billion for EV Tax Rebates, the First Class of the American Climate Corps, a 100% Renewable Energy Standard in Vermont, and More!

Jun 21, 2024

Every week, we round up five of the best good climate news stories we’re celebrating. This week we cover the Biden-Harris administration distributing $1 billion in EV tax rebates, the first class of the American Climate Corps being sworn in, a 100% renewable energy standard in Vermont, the Chicago Teachers Union fighting for climate action, and the UAW’s new agreement to improve working standards in the EV industry.

1. Biden-Harris administration has distributed $1 billion in instant EV rebates

Electric vehicle plugged into a charging station in Myrtle Beach, SC. Credit: thedigitelmyr, Flickr

The Biden-Harris administration announced that they have distributed more than $1 billion in electric vehicle (EV) rebates since launching the point-of-sale tax rebates in January. More than 150,000 people have been able to save money on EVs using the tax credit created in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. This accounts for ¼ of all EV sales in the U.S. this year.

Currently, tax credits are available for up to $7,500 for eligible new EVs, and up to $4,000 for eligible used EVs. Some homes are also eligible for a tax credit of up to $1,000 on home chargers. These tax credits are making it more accessible for people to make the transition to EVs by lowering the cost burden to consumers. Experts are hopeful that the EV rebate program will gain more traction over time as EV prices decrease and more vehicles become eligible for the rebate.


2. First American Climate Corps class sworn in

A group of BLM Wyoming workers posing in a group with hard hats on. Credit: Samantha Storms, Flickr

The first class of President Biden’s American Climate Corps, a federal program to provide young people with training and paid jobs across a variety of sectors in the clean energy economy and climate resilience, has been sworn in.

All 9,000 members of the program’s inaugural class will be sworn in to their paid, federal, state, and local roles by the end of the month. Employment terms range from two months to over a year and are funded through President Biden’s affordable clean energy plan.

The program eventually aims to employ over 20,000 people aged 18-26 working to protect public lands and waters, advance clean energy, advance environmental justice and community resilience, contribute to community capacity building, and enhance and protect our agricultural systems. Join the American Climate Corps by applying on the website.

Source: NBC

3. 100% renewable energy standard to be enacted in Vermont

Solar array in Guilford Vermont. Credit: Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons

A new renewable energy standard will become law in Vermont after both the House and Senate voted to override Governor Phil Scott’s veto of the bill. The new standard will require most of the state’s utilities to purchase 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Supporters of the bill and the State’s Joint Fiscal Office said that Scott’s projections that the bill would incur higher costs for Vermonters were inflated.

The bill will accelerate the transition to clean energy by requiring that most utilities purchase 100%, up from 75%, of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and further that all utilities be fully converted by 2035. The bill also has provisions to scale up purchases from in-state renewable energy producers.

Source: vtdigger

4. Chicago Teachers Union is fighting for climate action

Chicago Teachers Union members marching in a protest. Credit: Charles Edward Miller, Wikimedia Commons

The powerful Chicago Teachers Union is using their ongoing contract negotiations to fight for climate action within the district. The union opened negotiations with demands that the district establish a net-zero emissions by 2035 goal, invest in electric school buses, remove lead pipes from all buildings, pause installation of gas heaters, and create clean energy job training programs for the district’s students.

The union is also calling for solar panels and heat pumps to be installed and a new composting program to be launched in 50 schools. Lastly, teachers are hoping to pilot a “carbon neutral schools” program in five schools in the hopes of cutting energy costs by 30% by this time next year. These demands are in addition to commitments that the Chicago School District has already made, including pledging to cut emissions 45% by 2030 and go carbon-neutral by 2050.

Source: Politico

5. UAW members ratify agreement on working standards in EV industry

UAW workers at a press conference with signs showing they are on strike. Credit: Lance Cheung, Flickr

The United Automobile Workers (UAW) voted to ratify an agreement with Ultium Cells regarding working conditions for electric vehicle (EV) workers. Ultium Cells, located in Lordstown, Ohio, produces EV batteries for General Motors. The agreement expands on the UAW’s Stand Up Strike success last year which saw the ratification of a national contract that improved wages and promised bonuses and the right to strike for EV workers. The new contract will further increase wages to more than double Ultium workers’ earnings prior to joining UAW. It will also introduce higher health and safety standards.

The ratification of this agreement marks another milestone in the fight for a just transition to clean energy.

Source: Reuters, UAW, Mourning Journal

Want more good climate news?

Check out the Power Source Blog and follow us on Instagram or Twitter for more Good Climate News every week.