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Feds Helping Two Bay Area Cities Transition To Clean Economy

RICHMOND (CBS SF/BCN) – The U.S. Department of Energy announced this week that it will help two Bay Area cities with clean energy economic development.

Richmond and San Jose are included in the list of 22 communities nationwide and four in the state receiving the help. The communities were selected as part of the Communities Local Energy Action Program, or Communities LEAP, which aims to help energy-overburdened communities.

Each selected community will get help from the Energy Department with creating plans to reduce air pollution, lower utility costs and provide jobs and economic opportunity, among other things.

Other work involves energy storage, carbon capture and storage, cleaner transportation, the development of clean energy, critical minerals recovery, and providing opportunities in manufacturing and industry.

"The President committed to making a historic investment in our clean energy future and environmental justice," said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. "With today's Communities LEAP announcement, we will use the power of the Federal government, DOE's National Labs and other experts to help our communities develop clear, actionable plans to reimagine their energy future and protect the health and safety of all residents."

San Jose officials see the need not only to retrain workers who might lose their jobs during the transition to clean energy, but also the need to train additional workers because the existing workforce cannot handle all the work that needs to be done.

Technical assistance through Communities LEAP will provide the selected communities with access to other Energy Department and federal programs, including those included in the $1.3 trillion Congress earmarked for infrastructure.

Forty percent of the benefits from Communities LEAP will be delivered to disadvantaged communities. Communities LEAP also ensures federal investment is made in hard-hit energy communities through the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities.

"Communities across the country must be able to take advantage of these historic investments in clean energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, and clean transportation," said Mitch Landrieu, White House senior advisor and infrastructure coordinator.

"Technical assistance programs like Communities LEAP will help ensure these communities are prepared for the many funding opportunities available from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as we transition to a clean energy economy," Landrieu said.

The two other communities in California to be selected for the assistance are the city of Bakersfield and Kern County.

© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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