Which U.S. States Are Benefitting the Most From the IRA, CHIPS and BIL?

Since the introduction of the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and other funding policies, several states across the U.S. have benefitted from investment in green energy, tech, and other sectors. While recent funding policies offer widespread public spending across the U.S., some unexpected states are benefitting from the initiatives more than others. A few red states, such as South Carolina and Texas, have seen significant investment in their industry and energy sectors, helping to transform them into green energy and tech hubs. Meanwhile, swing states, including Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan, have also been major receivers of IRA funding. 

Who’s Getting the Biggest Piece of the Pie?

To date, major U.S. funding policies passed under the Biden administration, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, together offer $537 billion in infrastructure investments. In May, the White House released new data showing where most of this funding is going as the green transition gets underway. The White House Deputy Chief of Staff Natalie Quillian stated of the investments, “We are breaking ground and completing projects across every single state and territory.” 

The newly released data comes as part of the promotion for the Biden administration’s “Infrastructure Week,” which points towards some of the failed attempts at major infrastructure works under the former Trump administration. Quillian explained, “While infrastructure week became an empty punch line during the prior administration, the Biden administration has committed to delivering infrastructure that will benefit communities for generations to come.” 

The 10 states that came out on top in terms of investment so far are: 

  • California: $45.1 billion
  • Texas: $33.2 billion
  • New York: $24.1 billion
  • Florida: $17 billion
  • Pennsylvania: $16.7 billion
  • Illinois: $16.6 billion
  • Arizona: $15.4 billion
  • Maryland: $12.9 billion
  • Ohio: $12.8 billion
  • Michigan: $12.4 billion

These states are scattered across the U.S. and have some of the largest economies in the country. Many of them, such as Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, are swing states that will be important voting areas in the 2024 presidential election. Georgia, another battleground state, has received the 12th-biggest public investment, at around $10.8 billion. Despite questions about whether Biden is distributing funding with a focus on the upcoming election, White House officials have pointed out that around half of the funding from the policies is allocated using formulas. The rest of the funding is awarded by agencies via discretionary grants that states compete for. 

Approximately 50% of the jobs announced from IRA and CHIPS-related investments are expected to be in red states, while around 17% are in blue states and 33% will be in swing states. This is largely based on the needs and history of the states in question. For example, manufacturing jobs have typically been awarded to states in the South and the West as they offer lower-cost operations, vast quantities of land, and a skilled workforce. 

A Major New Green Hub

One of the unexpected states now rivaling California in terms of green energy and tech is Texas. The Lonestar State has rapidly become a major hub for solar energy and clean tech, expanding its already impressive energy sector. Currently, Texas contributes around 14% of the solar power generated in the U.S., with much more solar capacity expected to be added over the next few years. The state has rapidly grown its solar power capacity by around 14 times between 2017 and 2023. 

Meanwhile, Houston is quickly becoming known as the Silicon Valley of Texas for its rapid expansion in the field of clean tech. In a 2020 survey by Blind, 29% of technology professionals from the Bay Area responded with the view that Texas is “the next Silicon Valley.” Public funding in energy and tech projects across the state has helped to attract high levels of private funding in the sector. By 2023, Houston was home to over 80 startup development organizations (SDOs), from incubators to accelerators, maker spaces, co-working spaces, non-profits, and academic institutions, many of which have a focus on clean tech and green energy. 

Unexpected Winners 

In addition to the states receiving the largest quantities of funding, some others have seen major investments in specific sectors. For example, Idaho – a traditionally red state, has received the largest-ever federal funding for semiconductor manufacturing under the CHIPS Act. Micron’s $15 billion semiconductor plant and Meta’s $800 million data center mark two of the biggest investments in Idaho’s history. The two projects are expected to require more than 4,500 construction workers in the development stage, as well as 2,000 and 100 permanent workers, respectively. The Micron plant is expected to create a further 15,000 indirect jobs. 

Scott Gatzemeier, the Corporate Vice President of Front End U.S. Expansion at Micron Technology, stated, “There’s going to be more people in the community, there’s going to be more restaurants, more grocery stores, more dentist offices… (The Micron expansion) just drives economic activity at a large scale.”

Felicity Bradstock is a freelance writer specializing in Energy and Industry. She has a Master’s in International Development from the University of Birmingham, UK, and is now based in Mexico City.