Readout of the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities Meeting for Economic Growth That Benefits Everybody
Interagency Working Group is Leading Whole of Government Effort to Invest in Coal, Oil and Gas, and Power Plant Communities
Today, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese convened the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities, where they were joined by Cabinet members and senior leadership from across the federal government. They discussed the Administration’s efforts to-date that support economic revitalization in energy communities and how President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will further deliver for these communities.
The Interagency Working Group discussed recent senior administration official travel to energy communities in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Colorado, and Arizona’s Navajo and Hopi energy communities. Collectively, since release of the initial report of the Interagency Working Group in April, senior administration officials have held nearly a dozen in-person and virtual listening sessions in key energy communities, which have been attended by thousands of state, local, and Tribal officials, labor unions, business leaders, environmental justice organizations, and community groups. This extensive engagement informs the working group’s efforts to further coordinate federal resources, reduce barriers to access for energy communities, and grow the economy for everybody – including those who have been left behind for far too long.
The Interagency Working Group also discussed recent agency funding announcements that have prioritized energy communities, including the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) $300 million Coal Communities Commitment to support economic revitalization, infrastructure investments, and quality jobs in coal communities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s investment of $167 million in priority energy communities through the Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Electric Loan Program, and the Appalachian Regional Commission’s announcement of its largest ever package of $46.4 million in grant awards to coal communities through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) program.
Senior officials also discussed how the President’s Build Back Better Agenda and Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver necessary clean energy and manufacturing investments to coal and power plant communities to spur economic revitalization. Historic investments in environmental remediation will also create good-paying, union jobs in hard-hit energy communities – cleaning up superfund and brownfield sites, reclaiming abandoned mine lands, and capping orphaned gas wells.
Pursuant to President Biden’s January 27th Executive Order 14008,Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, the Interagency Working Group membership is composed of the following government officials:
- National Climate Advisor (Co-Chair)
- Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (Co-Chair)
- Secretary of the Treasury
- Secretary of the Interior
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of Commerce
- Secretary of Labor
- Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Secretary of Transportation
- Secretary of Energy
- Secretary of Education
- Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
- Director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Director of the Domestic Policy Council
- Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission