This report analyzes the U.S. federal programs that could help fossil fuel–producing regions transition to a low-carbon future. It divides these programs into those that target local or regional economies driven by natural resource development (including timber and agriculture as well as fossil fuels) and those with broader geographic or economic scope. The authors suggest that the former, place-based development approaches can be especially effective.
The report examines three regional economic approaches that might be successful in a just transition context: offering capacity-building programs and technical assistance, financially supporting public and community organizations, and financially supporting private firms that may otherwise struggle to access funding. The authors also indicate that such efforts would require coordination among federal, state, and local officials and that substantial scaling up would be required for them to have a meaningful impact.
The report identifies programs that target natural resource–dependent communities and highlights a handful of initiatives that could aid just transitions efforts. For example, the Economic Development Integration program coordinates multiple economic development initiatives across agencies while making deliverables more efficient, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development programs provide technical and financial support for public and private rural institutions. An extensive appendix in the report details many federal policies in full.