President Biden visited Massachusetts on Wednesday, where he spoke about next steps for climate policy, including plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert a global environmental catastrophe. His visit comes less than a week after negotiations to pass a major climate spending package through Congress fell apart.

The president promised an announcement “in the coming days” about executive actions he is considering, and took the opportunity to praise the Massachusetts leaders flanking him for taking actions at the state level that are already hastening a clean energy transition in New England.

“Congress is not acting as it should, and these guys here are,” Biden said, delivering his remarks on the site of the former Brayton Point power plant in Somerset, Mass., which used to be one of the largest and dirtiest coal-fired plants in New England.

The sprawling complex once included a pair of concrete cooling towers that made for a striking landmark on the stretch of Interstate 195 between Providence and Fall River, an image reminiscent of the power plant in The Simpsons where Homer works.

“A former regulator in Massachusetts was telling me on the way up how folks used to get a rag out and wipe the gunk off of their car windshields in the morning just to be able to drive,” Biden said.

The cooling towers, along with most of the power plant, were demolished in 2019. Now, Brayton Point is a dusty plain of 306 acres eyed for redevelopment by the Prysmian Group and other companies as a manufacturing hub for offshore wind farms. Plans for the site also include a power substation where Mayflower Wind, an offshore wind joint venture of Shell New Energies and Ocean Winds North America, is seeking to connect electricity generated by its turbines to the region’s power grid.

Pointing to a bulkhead where ships once delivered coal to Brayton Point, Biden said, “Now we're going to use that same port to carry components for wind power into the sea.”

He said the undersea cable factory the Prysmian Group is planning will employ as many people as the power plant did at the peak of its operation.

“Brayton Point is on the frontier of clean energy in America,” Biden said.

Massachusetts has the nation’s largest pipeline of offshore wind projects under development. Offshore wind farms proposed in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard already have contracts in place with the state’s utility providers to supply about 25% of Massachusetts’ electricity needs.

Nearby in Rhode Island, the governor supports legislation to establish enough power purchase agreements with offshore wind companies to supply roughly half of the state’s electricity needs.

But this pipeline of offshore wind farms is expensive to construct and difficult to finance in an environment where changing political winds can make or break a wind farm’s chances for federal approval, which all of them require because of their location far off the coast in federal waters.

The climate spending package that recently met a dead end in Congress would have provided $300 billion in government funding to support various clean energy initiatives, including direct payments to offshore wind companies to keep electricity prices affordable for consumers and competitive with power suppliers that use existing fossil fuel-dependent infrastructure.

Leaders in the region’s nascent offshore wind industry said their projects are still possible without the boost Biden’s climate spending package would have provided.

“It would have been a massive enhancement for how we have to finance our business,” Mayflower Wind CEO Michael Brown said. “It’s disappointing, but I’m hopeful that maybe we can patch something up in the future.”

Brown said it’s possible that Congress’s failure to pass a climate spending bill could lead to higher electricity rates for future projects that Mayflower is planning in the region.

Hakan Ozmen, an executive for the Prysmian Group, said the lack of federal funding upfront is unlikely to delay his company’s plans to build the undersea cable factory on Brayton Point, which is projected to employ more than 200 people.

The executive actions Biden has within his toolbox to address climate change offer much less in the way of financial support for a clean energy transition than a Congressional spending package would have provided.

Still, the president laid out a few steps on Wednesday that his administration is already taking, and promised more in the coming days.

Biden said he is allocating $2.3 billion from an existing Federal Emergency Management Agency program to help communities withstand ongoing heat waves, storms, fires and floods. He also plans to expand the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help pay for air conditioning in people’s homes and community centers.

Ben Berke is the South Coast Bureau Reporter for The Public’s Radio. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BenBerke6.