Today, Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization Executive Director Brian Anderson discussed the power of partnerships for implementing energy and economic revitalization projects at the Marshall Plan for Middle America Kick-off Summit focused on the economy of the Upper Appalachia and Ohio River Valley region.
Spread across four days, the Marshall Plan for Middle America Kick-off Summit brings together innovators from across sectors to collaborate and share ideas on spurring energy and economic transformation in the region’s energy communities. This includes several communities that are part of the 25 priority energy communities outlined in the IWG’s initial report to the White House.
Anderson served as a keynote speaker alongside other energy and economy experts and spoke about best practices for forming cross-sectoral partnerships and how to use those partnerships when designing, funding, and implementing impactful energy and economic innovation projects.
“A key principle of the IWG is ensuring impacted traditional energy communities working to revitalize their economies are empowered to direct their futures. We partner with local organizations and stakeholders on the ground to understand what is needed in each energy community and tailor our efforts to account for the unique circumstances and assets of each community,” said Anderson. “This type of integrated work wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration of place-based organizations, public sector agencies, tribal leaders, philanthropic interests, labor unions, private sector representatives and 11 federal agencies all moving in the same direction, together.”
The Marshall Plan for Middle America (MP4MA) Roadmap is a non-partisan, data-driven research document created through the joint scientific efforts of academic and policy researchers based at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the City of Pittsburgh, the Steel Valley Authority, the Heartland Capital Strategies Network, and the Enel Foundation. It aims to build a regional, multi-sectoral coalition of stakeholders to drive investment in infrastructure and energy diversification that will catalyze more equitable economic recovery while laying a foundation for the Ohio Valley (including Upper Appalachia) to be a global leader in cleaner energy resources and circular economy practices.
“The IWG recognizes that there is no set of uniform solutions to community revitalization. Each community is unique, with different economies, workforces, and geographies. That’s why we are working in support of communities to ensure billions in federal funds available to them are not positioned as investments into communities but rather they are offered in partnership with individual communities,” Anderson said.
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.