5.7.15 Social Policies to Facilitate a Just Carbon Transition

LPDD Recommendation: “Congress should enact and fund the RECLAIM Act of 2017 (H.R. 1731) (also known as “POWER Plus”) to provide $1 billion dollars over five years to restore abandoned coal mines to something like their natural state, while also scaling up economic diversification efforts in coal country.”

LPDD Recommendation: “Congress could adopt “carbon adjustment assistance” for dislocated carbon workers modeled on Trade Adjust­ment Assistance for workers dislocated by trade, and move toward an overall “active labor market system” through which society as a whole covers more of the costs to workers and their families of all economic transitions.”

LPDD Recommendation: “Congress could use grants, technical assistance, and peer learning to induce more companies to reposition them­selves from carbon to non-carbon energy markets, retraining and retaining more of their existing workers, and reducing job loss in communities currently dependent on carbon jobs. Congress should also require the participation of workers and their representatives in sectoral reemployment initiatives.”

LPDD Recommendation: “State legislatures could allow utilities to charge ratepayers for the cost of industrywide hiring halls and for retraining that bridges the gap between workers’ old skills and new occupations. State legislatures could require within future renewable energy portfolio standards or energy-efficiency mandates hiring preferences for workers dislocated from coal-fired power plants. State legislatures should also promote the creation of more clean energy jobs in coal country; local governments should also promote the creation of more clean energy jobs in coal country. State legislatures should re-envision the severance taxes that create natural resource trust funds as tools for phas­ing down extraction of fossil fuels and raising more near-term resources for social policies that support just transi­tions. To reduce or eliminate the wage gap between carbon and non-carbon jobs, state legislatures could establish within RPS and energy-efficiency laws occupational wage standards in non-carbon energy industry occupations.”

Proposed Environmental Justice for All Act (2020)

Establishes an Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice Compliance and Enforcement to help identify and address the disproportionate burden federal actions have on communities of color, low-income, rural, and Tribal communities.

The Roosevelt Project

Providing an analytical basis for charting a path to a low carbon economy in a way that promotes high quality job growth, minimizes worker and community dislocation, and harnesses the benefits of energy technologies for regional economic development.