The U.S. government can tap nearly $38 billion from existing federal funds to revitalize communities hard hit by the closure of coal mines or coal-fired power plants, a White House-appointed group wrote in a report for President Joe Biden released on Friday.
The Interagency Working Group on coal and power plant communities, which Biden established in a January executive order, identified available federal resources that can be used to spur economic development in areas affected by the demise of coal due to market forces and the shift toward cleaner energy. The Energy Department also announced $109.5 million in additional new funds to jumpstart “next-generation industries” such as carbon capture projects on existing industrial and power plants, and critical mineral extraction from waste streams that will create jobs directly in affected communities.
Biden has made climate change a priority issue for his administration. He portrays his goal to halve U.S. greenhouse gas emissions this decade by accelerating renewable energy and electric vehicles as a creator of well-paid, union jobs.