Biden Administration Takes Promising Step Toward Solutions for Transitioning Fossil Fuel Communities

EDF statement from Derek Walker, Vice President for U.S. Climate

April 23, 2021

(Washington, D.C. – April 23, 2021) Today, the Biden-Harris administration’s Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization released a report outlining $38 billion in existing federal programs across 12 agencies that can be leveraged to support the economies of coal, oil and gas communities impacted by the transition away from fossil fuels.

These programs include infrastructure initiatives, investments in emerging energy technologies and associated workforce development, environmental remediation, grants for economic development and small businesses, and more. Crucially, the report maps the highest-priority regions for federal support across the country and identifies a number of immediate next steps for the working group, including increased community engagement and a federal “one-stop shop” of resources for energy communities. The Interagency Working Group was established by President Biden’s January executive order on tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad.

“The report is a promising step toward concrete policy solutions that benefit workers and lift up communities and regions that depend on fossil fuel jobs. The clean energy transition cannot succeed unless the federal government deploys solutions that help fossil fuel workers and communities. These solutions should include policies that create good-paying union jobs, clean up pollution, build vital infrastructure like broadband, protect workers’ benefits and generate new economic opportunities.

“Ultimately, ensuring a fair and equitable energy transition for all workers and communities demands new federal legislation. Congress should follow the Biden-Harris administration’s lead on this issue and pass robust policies that can address the energy transition challenges facing coal, oil and gas workers and their communities.”

Read EDF and Resources for the Future’s joint report on federal policy solutions for fossil fuel workers and communities in transition.

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