Vice President Harris Announces Inflation Reduction Act Provisions at Coppin State University

MCEC staff, board, and advisory council members were in attendance at Coppin State University (CSU), earlier this month, to hear Vice President Kamala Harris share details about provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that will combat climate change and create a stronger clean energy economy.

Anthony Jenkins, President of Coppin State University, opened the program by highlighting research CSU is conducting to find solutions to climate change as it affects urban environments. The HBCU hopes to use these findings to support the Baltimore community.

Vernice Miller-Travis, Executive Vice President at the Metropolitan Group is respected as a pioneer and thought leader on environmental justice and the interplay of civil rights and environmental policy. During her introduction of the Vice President, she celebrated the multi-state dedication and collaboration to create a brighter future, and the game-changing work that will be done through Justice40.

Vice President Harris expressed the desire of the Biden Administration to put LMI and historically underrepresented communities in the forefront. She recognized the importance of climate champions that share the needs, dreams, and desires of the communities they represent. Public private partnerships are vital to combining the knowledge and reach both parties contribute. These partnerships are strengthened through the National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF). The $14 billion fund will provide affordable financing to clean energy technology projects, and 40% of funding will go towards LMI communities.

The Vice President also announced the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA), a $6 billion competition that will award nonprofit organizations that will provide funding and technical assistance to finance clean technology projects.

Vice President Harris Speaks at CSU

The site for this historic announcement showcases the potential for future projects, as CSU has realized the value of an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) to finance energy-saving improvements to facilities, using the Maryland Clean Energy Capital Program (MCAP).

In December 2012, MCEC entered into a loan agreement with the Lender to provide 100% of the capital for the project. Cost savings delivered to date have been beyond projections, currently $6,824,785. The MCAP Shared Energy Savings transaction model was used to facilitate third party ownership of the project by MCEC and attract cost effective tax-exempt capital supported by an Energy Performance Contract where the ESCO guarantees the energy, operation, and maintenance savings.

A number of local leaders and champions preceded the Vice President’s presence at the podium. Comptroller Brook Lierman called attention to the importance of available financing for a diversity of consumers- nonprofits, residents, and businesses. She recognized green banks in Maryland, like MCEC, that have been there to help Coppin State and the State of Maryland reach these ambitious goals.

The Mayor of the City of Baltimore, Brandon Scott, thanked environmental and sustainability champions in the city who have helped the City of Baltimore received LEED GOLD certification. This award, he anticipates, will be the first of many as Baltimore begins implementing a variety of initiatives improving the city’s environmental footprint.

Lieutenant Gov. Aruna Miller discussed ground breaking offshore wind plans and celebrated Maryland clean energy legislation as a solution to combat climate change, and as an opportunity to grow the economy and create an equitable clean energy sector.

Several legislators also attended and gave their remarks on the work Maryland has done in partnership with their respective representing states. Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD) thanked MCEC for supporting CSU through the MCAP program. Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ), Senator Ed Markey (MA), and Senator Tom Carper (DE) all stressed the importance of interstate collaboration to reach U.S. clean energy goals. EPA Administrator Michael Regan provided a breakdown of the $41 billion dedicated to the EPA, part of which will support the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).