New Biden Plan for “Energy Communities” Invests Billions in Revitalization and Clean Energy Jobs

The IRA will incentivize clean energy projects in communities historically reliant on fossil fuels

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the Biden administration released additional details surrounding a variety of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) programs designed to create family-sustaining manufacturing jobs in hard-hit communities, lower costs on energy efficient appliances like heat pumps, provide public health benefits to communities, and accelerate the clean energy transition.

Clean energy projects located in communities that have historically relied on fossil fuels to power their economies — known as energy communities — will be eligible for billions of dollars in incentives in addition to existing IRA tax credits. The Department of Energy will also direct $450 million in funds from the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act to advance renewable energy projects on lands previously used for coal mining.

Today’s announcement includes a new mapping tool to help communities and stakeholders identify areas that qualify for these additional clean energy incentives as well as a Coal Power Plant Redevelopment Visualization Tool, which identifies closed or retiring coal-fired power plants and provides information for potential redevelopment opportunities.

The White House also held a roundtable today with heat pump manufacturers to discuss how to build domestic manufacturing and enhance workforce development, overcome supply chain issues, and encourage broader consumer education and adoption of these energy-efficient appliances. Heat pumps and other highly efficient home upgrades are becoming more affordable and accessible thanks to rebates and tax credits through the IRA.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“Coal mining and power plant communities helped power America for generations, receiving little more than pollution in return. It’s past time we invested in the communities that have given so much, and we’re pleased to see the Biden administration unlocking billions in additional incentives to drive family-sustaining jobs and bring new economic opportunity to communities sacrificed by the fossil fuel industry.

“We welcome the president’s actions to help everyone lower energy costs and consumption by using clean appliances and new technologies to reduce climate pollution. We also look forward to the implementation of other aspects of the IRA that will benefit frontline and fenceline communities, such as bold investments in clean manufacturing processes. Now, we hope to see the Biden administration focus on the root of the climate pollution problem: stopping the expansion of oil and gas extraction and use of fossil fuels.” 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit