Creating an Equitable Clean Energy Future: Engaging Local Communities in Project Planning and Development
Clean energy is booming across the United States, thanks to historic investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.
While the clean energy transition offers massive economic and job creation potential and a plethora of health, environmental and climate benefits, it is critical large public and private investments benefit workers and communities who need it most. Community benefits agreements, community benefits plans, and other project agreements are important tools that can help create a space for people to have a say in the future of their communities and make the clean energy transition more equitable.
While community benefits agreements have been around for many years and have been employed in the context of stadium, airport and other infrastructure projects, there is an increasing focus on applying them in the clean energy sector. The Department of Energy (DOE) now requires grant proposal submissions to include community benefit plans, which differ from community benefits agreements and require project developers applying for DOE funding to clarify how they will engage with a wide range of stakeholders, such as labor unions and community-based organizations to provide benefits to communities. Local governments are also beginning to enact community benefits ordinances, which require project developers to engage with the community to provide community benefits and address the harmful impacts of projects, while some states are requiring community benefits agreements as part of their economic development processes.
Join WRI and Data for Progress for a discussion about the importance of community benefits agreements and community benefits plans in facilitating an equitable clean energy development. The webinar will feature a conversation with Betony Jones, Director of the Office of Energy Jobs at DOE, about the federal government’s role in facilitating the process between stakeholders in the development of community benefits plans. That will be followed by a panel discussion with experts and practitioners to discuss the fundamentals, barriers and opportunities to expand the best practices of community benefits agreements and the role of different stakeholders in working together across clean energy projects.
- Betony Jones, Director of the Office of Energy Jobs, Department of Energy
- Carla Walker, Director of Environmental Justice and Equity, U.S., World Resources Institute
- Amanda Woodrum ,Co-Director, Reimagine Appalachia
- Melanie Prasad, Legal Director, Jobs to Move America
- Grace Adcox, Polling Analyst, Data for Progress (Moderator)
- Other speakers to be confirmed