In collaboration with several federal agencies, the Interagency Working Group (IWG) hosted a virtual workshop Wednesday, Sept. 8, tailored for North Dakota energy community members and leaders to learn about opportunities to help catalyze local projects for economic growth in the region.
Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, IWG Executive Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., and Executive Director of the Western Dakota Energy Association Geoff Smith provided opening remarks.
The webinar focused on the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Coal Communities Commitment, the largest funding effort for coal communities in the agency’s history, totaling $300 million. The Coal Communities Commitment and other funding currently available will ensure America’s energy communities are well-positioned to build back better as the nation transitions to a clean energy economy.
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Interior joined EDA representatives to provide workshop attendees with information on available federal funding and resources for coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities to improve economic resiliency.
“As America undergoes one of the greatest energy evolutions in its history, the IWG is pursuing a whole of government approach to breathe new economic life into communities affected by the decline in traditional coal, oil and gas, and power plant jobs,” Anderson said. “Energy workers who long fueled America’s prosperity, like those in North Dakota, deserve secure, good-paying jobs that will support a high quality of life for themselves, their families and their communities.”
Established by an Executive Order in President Biden’s first week in office, the 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 as the U.S. prepares to undergo a historic energy evolution to a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.
The webinar recording, presentation slides, and final agenda can be found here.