Energy Communities IWG Executive Director Dr. Brian Anderson delivered remarks at the virtual Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities (BRECC) National Launch Event on November 3, 2022. This event was hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and provided an overview of the BRECC program and its benefits for coal communities.
“I want to thank the National Association of Counties for hosting this event. I’m very excited about the Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities Community of Practice Initiative and the positive impact this will have on coal communities in our country,” said Anderson. “I don’t have to tell anyone here that getting resources and technical assistance to rural, coal communities can be a challenge, but the BRECC will help make that process easier.”
Dr. Anderson highlighted federal resources relevant to coal communities, including funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, which are housed on the Energy Communities IWG online clearinghouse; the working group’s three Rapid Response Teams focused on Wyoming, the Four Corners region and the Illinois Basin; and additional guidebooks, training tools, and how-to resources on the Energy Communities IWG website.
Through the support of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the American Rescue Plan funding, the BRECC initiative will create a knowledge-sharing and peer-learning community of practice to empower local leaders and other champions to develop new ideas, approaches and fundable projects as coal communities seek to retool local and regional economies. The BRECC initiative directly overlaps with efforts and the mission of the Energy Communities IWG to revitalize our nation’s energy communities and spur economic growth.
NACo will collaborate with the West Virginia Community Development Hub and Colorado-based Community Builders to develop this national network and support forum. Sign up here to join the BRECC Network and receive information and updates on the program.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) strengthens America’s counties, serving nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees. Founded in 1935, NACo unites county officials to: advocate county priorities in federal policymaking; promote exemplary county policies and practices; nurture leadership skills and expand knowledge networks; optimize county and taxpayer resources and cost savings; and enrich the public’s understanding of county government.
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 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.