The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
During his first week in office, President Biden signed an Executive Order creating an Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization. The initiative is co-chaired by the Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Climate Advisor, and administered by the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
As a first step, the Executive Order directs the Interagency Working Group to prepare an initial report describing, “mechanisms, consistent with applicable law, to prioritize grantmaking, federal loan programs, technical assistance, financing, procurement, or other existing programs to support and revitalize the economies of coal and power plant communities.”
The Interagency Working Group reviewed domestic and international models for economic revitalization, compiled recommendations from advocacy groups and academics, and sought guidance from representatives of Energy Communities. Stakeholders included labor unions; community development organizations; local, regional, and tribal governments; the private sector; and philanthropic interests.
The report to the President identifies:
- A set of communities across the country hard-hit by coal mine and coal power plant closures, which should be prioritized for focused federal investment.
- Existing federal programs with potentially available funding totaling nearly $38 billion which could be used to provide immediate investments in Energy Communities.
- Immediate steps the Interagency Working Group should take within the next year to support Energy Communities.