WEBINAR: Can coal country thrive in a clean energy economy?
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April 5th at 1:00pm CDT - April 5th at 2:00pm CDT

WEBINAR: Can coal country thrive in a clean energy economy?

Tuesday, April 5
1:00 p.m. CDT / 2:00 p.m. EDT
Register now for this webinare from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute

In the United States, coal is being supplanted by cheap domestic natural gas, rising renewable power generation, and a growing energy efficiency sector. The decline of the U.S. coal industry has had significant negative impacts on the communities and industries traditionally supported by coal. However, if managed properly, coal's sunset also opens up new economic and social opportunities for regions to grow diverse economic sectors with renewable energy, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, and technology as drivers of economic redevelopment.

Hosted by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), this webinar that will explore how traditionally coal-reliant communities can transition, diversify and strengthen their economies as the United States moves toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. Join us as we discuss the funding opportunities and work being done at the local, regional and federal levels to help these communities grow vibrant local economies. This webinar will highlight the range of actions being taken by various coal-reliant regions to diversify and develop new jobs and sources of revenue.


Tara Ritter
Program Associate, Climate and Rural Communities, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy

Julie Lawhorn
Infrastructure Program Analyst, Appalachian Regional Commission

Brett Schwartz
Program Manager, National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation

Hannah Vargason
Business Development & Energy Project Manager, The Conservation Fund

According to our new report, The Clean Power Plan: Opportunities for an Equitable Energy Transition in Rural America, while the Clean Power Plan is expected to create a net increase in jobs from energy efficiency and renewables, these jobs will not neatly replace coal job losses. Therefore, additional programs—such as job training and community engagement—will be needed to scale up the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries in coal country.

On March 17, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced $65.8 million in funding for economically depressed coal-reliant communities. Any community that has coal-related industries can apply for the funding, which will be administered by the Obama Administration's Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. Funds will go towards projects and partnerships that diversify local jobs and economies and towards increasing capacity and technical assistance for economic growth. At the local level, the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) is working with regional development organizations to foster discussions on solutions and options for coal-reliant communities. The Conservation Fund, with its Natural Capital Investment Fund Energy Initiative, is also promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy work and services in rural Appalachia.

This webinar from the Environmental Energy Study Institute (EESI) is the latest in a series examining environmental justice perspectives on the Clean Power Plan. Find out more information on their first event.