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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Secretary of Energy launches programs that promise climate action, environmental justice

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The Department of Energy announced the launch of 146 programs as a part of the Biden administration's social justice-oriented Justice40 Initiative on July 25th.

The Justice40 Initiative is described as "a pathway for equitable clean energy deployment to benefit communities that are overburdened, underserved, and have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental injustice," according to a recent press release. Justice40-covered programs are meant to aid the DOE's mission to meet President Joe Biden's climate goals, as well as to spur economic and social growth in underserved communities and areas.

“The Department of Energy is working to ensure that the billions of dollars in clean energy investments made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law offer the promise of environmental justice for the communities that need it most,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Our Department-wide collaboration with community groups, utilities and local governments will result in climate action that advances environmental justice and invigorates economic revitalization and job creation to benefit Americans for generations.”

To encourage transparency and accountability, the DOE released its list of Justice40 programs, a move that it says also reiterates its commitment to environmental justice and a future with clean energy. Examples of such programs include the Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid Program, which will support preexisting efforts to support power grids and reduce the risk of failing power lines during extreme weather events. Another program, the Weatherization Assistance Program, will increase the energy efficiency of low-income residences in an effort to improve their owners' and tenants' health and safety, as well as to reduce their overall energy costs.

"I am honored to lead this Department through a historic re-investment in our country’s energy infrastructure," Granholm said in a letter to DOE stakeholders. "Justice will serve as our North Star as we fight climate change and bring economic prosperity to our great Nation."

The DOE's Office of Economic Impact and Diversity will host a webinar on August 17 at 2:00 pm EDT to provide the public with more information regarding the Justice40 Initiative. Registrations can be made here.

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