U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Director’s Update – August 28, 2023

Established by an Executive Order during President Biden’s first week in office, the Energy Communities IWG is pursuing a whole-of-government approach to create good-paying union jobs, spur economic revitalization, remediate environmental degradation and support energy workers in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities across the country.

Illinois Basin Rapid Response Team Convening

Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) Indiana hosted an event July 12 in Jasper, Indiana. The Illinois Coal Basin Rapid Response Team Regional Convening brought state and federal agencies together to discuss initiatives and resources available for helping coal-impacted communities with local governments. According to USDA RD Indiana State Director Terry Goodin, these agencies are now mobilizing community leaders in the coal basin to help improve lives in those areas. “This was a phenomenal event, and it gave us a chance to show these communities that we are there for them,” he stated. 

Learn more about the Energy Communities IWG Rapid Response Teams here.

New Funding Opportunities & Announcements

Upcoming Funding Deadlines

The following funding opportunities and technical assistance programs have application deadlines coming up in the next four weeks and can all be found in the IWG’s online clearinghouse. To learn more about how to navigate the Energy Communities IWG Clearinghouse, click here.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Department of Transportation

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Events & Additional Resources

  • Prairie Rivers Network Webinar Series
    The Prairie Rivers Network co-hosted a three-part webinar series in partnership with the University of Illinois Extension and the Just Transition Fund. The series explored state and federal opportunities focused on reinvestment in Illinois’ rural and coal communities. Part 3 of the series featured Briggs White, deputy executive director, Energy Communities IWG.
  • Third Annual Appalachia Forward
    The Third Annual Appalachia Forward, featuring the Energy Communities IWG, will be held on Sept. 27, 2023, at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio. This conference is meant for local elected officials and development staff. More information will be available soon.
  • ARC 2023 Annual Conference
    The Appalachian Regional Commission’s 2023 Annual Conference will be held Sept. 11-12 in Ashland, Kentucky. Topics of interest include expanding workforce development, growing outdoor recreation, developing entrepreneurs and building leadership and community capacity in the region. Conference registration and the waitlist are currently at capacity.
Courtesy Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Brushy Fork 2023 Leadership Summit
    The 2023 Brushy Fork Leadership Summit, Leading Through Resilience: Imagining the Future, will be held Nov. 2-3 at Berea College. This two-day gathering will feature intensive workshop tracks, taught by regional leaders and will have prime content for non-profit development. Registration is now open.

Success Story

Courtesy of The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Program Review

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs awarded funding to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (UMUT) for its White Mesa Solar Initiative in 2021. This project aims to reduce the tribe’s dependence on outside energy sources, support tribal sovereignty and bring cost savings through tribally owned solar energy systems. The long-term goal of this project is to support the tribe’s vision of reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The White Mesa Solar Initiative will deploy approximately 144 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic energy on seven tribal facilities on the White Mesa, Utah, portion of the UMUT homeland. The project will save an estimated $22,565 per year and $794,000 over the 30-year lifetime of the systems by capturing and utilizing solar energy to meet more than 95% of its government’s energy needs in this area of the UMUT reservation.

The UMUT tribe consists of nearly 600,000 acres in the Four Corners region across Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona where the four states meet. For more than 70 years, the tribe has relied on oil and gas business to drive its economy. While this revenue has been steadily declining, the tribe has been seeking ways to shift its focus on fossil fuels to more renewable resources and this project delivers solutions to address the revenue decline.

The project kick-started in 2022 and is expected to wrap up at the end of 2024.

On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest in programs that support people living and working in America’s energy communities. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others in your network who may benefit.

Best regards,

Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization

Scroll to Top