White House Releases Report Detailing Existing Resources for Energy Communities

May 3, 2021

by ASME

The White House recently released a report with recommendations on how to create jobs in communities that once focused on coal, oil, and gas production. The report was developed in response to President Biden’s January 27th Executive Order, which directs the White House Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization to report on “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 Working Group has identified $38 billion in existing federal funding that could be used to support revitalization efforts in these hard-hit communities.
 
The report identifies 25 regions nationwide that have been most impacted by the decline in coal. The White House plans to tap into the $38 billion identified to help provide immediate investments into the identified “Energy Communities.” The funds will be used for grant funding for infrastructure projects, deploying innovative low-carbon technologies, small business development, financing for remediating abandoned oil and gas wells, and workforce development.
 
To carry out some of the recommendations in the report, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $109.5 million in funding for projects that intend to catalyze next generation energy industries to retain and create jobs in the identified communities:
  • $75 million in funding to engineer carbon capture projects.
  • $19.5 million in funding awards for critical mineral extraction from coal and associated waste streams.
  • $15 million for geothermal energy research projects at West Virginia University and Sandia National Laboratories. 
The 25 “Energy Communities” include:
  1. Southern West Virginia non-metropolitan area
  2. East Kentucky non-metropolitan area
  3. Wheeling, West Virginia-Ohio
  4. Southwest Virginia non-metropolitan area
  5. Alaska non-metropolitan area
  6. West Kentucky non-metropolitan area
  7. Bremerton-Silverdale, Washington
  8. Eastern Wyoming non-metropolitan area
  9. Western Wyoming non-metropolitan area
  10. Arizona non-metropolitan area
  11. Northern West Virginia non-metropolitan area
  12. South Illinois non-metropolitan area
  13. Central Utah non-metropolitan area
  14. Southern Indiana non-metropolitan area
  15. California-Lexington Park, Maryland
  16. Farmington, New Mexico
  17. Northeast Virginia non-metropolitan area
  18. West North Dakota non-metropolitan area
  19. Greeley, Colorado
  20. College Station-Bryan, Texas
  21. Southwest Alabama non-metropolitan area
  22. Grand Junction, Colorado
  23. Beckley, West Virginia
  24. Charleston, West Virginia
  25. Western Pennsylvania non-metropolitan area 
For more information, please see the White House Press Release.

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