When coal mines close: Help for transitioning communities

URBANA, Ill. – Illinois contains about 15% recoverable coal reserves and is the nation’s second-largest coal producer, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Five of the 11 remaining Illinois coal plants are scheduled for closure in the coming years, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

When plants close, communities face loss of jobs that impact local economies; however, funding opportunities and transition planning to renewable forms of energy can help these economies to become more resilient to changing conditions.

To help communities diversify local economies and recover from employment loss and economic challenges, University of Illinois Extension is hosting a free online webinar at noon Tuesday, June 8. The program will offer an overview of federal and state policy regarding affected communities impacted by the energy transition, as well as federal funding opportunities and an overview of Energy Legislation in Illinois. 

Register at go.illinois.edu/EnergyCommunities.

Presenters include Darrin Fleener, economic development representative with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Amanda Pankau of the Prairie Rivers Network. Fleener’s experience includes both urban and rural communities. Pankau develops and implements policies to ensure clean transition to renewable energy.

If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the online session, contact Extension Educator Nancy Ouedraogo at esarey@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged.

SOURCE: Nancy Ouedraogo, Community and Economic Development Specialist, University of Illinois Extension
WRITER: Erin Wunderlich, Writer, University of Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.