National Alliance for Black Business (NABB) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Form a Historic Alliance to Develop Black-Owned Businesses

Author: MBDA Staff     Published: 2/27/2013      PRNewswire

The New Alliance Between the MBDA and the NABB Aims to Amplify Black Business Development and Global Competitiveness as Part of a Growing Movement to Form a Nationally Unified Black Business Agenda

WASHINGTONFeb. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On Wednesday, February 22, 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), and the National Alliance for Black Business (NABB) signed a historic MOU during the NABB’s first annual National Black Business Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The NABB was co-founded by the National Business League (NBL) and the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), which represent a combined 153 years of service to Black businesses and are now collectively working to organize a unified national black economic agenda.

This historic agreement between MBDA and the NABB will strengthen our collective mission to create a strong, equitable economy for all minority businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Donald R. Cravins, Jr., Under Secretary of the Minority Business Development Agency. “Both MBDA and the NABB have uplifted Black businesses in the decades since they were formed. But together under this agreement, we can break down more barriers, open new opportunities, and create greater access for even more minority entrepreneurs and founders to thrive.”

More than 100 distinguished Black business leaders, organizations, and corporate executives assembled with the Department of Commerce Under Secretary Donald Cravins Jr., Esq. Among them were NABB Co-founders Kenneth L. Harris, Ph.D. (NBL) and Charles H. DeBow, III (NBCC); Hon. Johnny Ford, founder and president of the World Conference of Mayors; Helena Hutton, senior director of strategic purchasing, supplier diversity and environmental sustainability, Cummins Inc., and member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable; Jane Reindorf-Attoh, CEO, JT International; and conference keynote speaker Terri L. Batch, Director of the U.S. Global Diversity Export Initiative, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.

“The alliance between the NABB and the U.S. Department of Commerce is a powerful collaboration to build Black economic equity through enterprise ownership and development,” said Charles H. DeBow, III, president and CEO of the NBCC and co-founder of the NABB.

The MOU establishes a framework for the MBDA and the NABB to collaborate on efforts to increase the growth and global scaling of more than 3.2 million Black American businesses, with an estimated $141.1 billion in annual receipts, 1.3 million employees, and about $42.2 billion in annual payroll (2022 U.S. Census). As part of this alliance, MBDA and the NABB will share information and raise public awareness of each other’s programs and initiatives.

In 1969, the late Berkeley G. Burrell, the 10th national president of the NBL, played an instrumental role in the founding and creation of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE), known today as the MBDA. Mr. Burrell was vice president of the Advisory Council for Minority Enterprise and under his leadership, the NBL and OMBE initiated decades of Black business participation in the public and private sectors.

“The MBDA was born out of the civil rights movement, as an intentional solution to curb the economic conditions experienced in the Black community that caused Black resistance, rebellion, and retribution in the streets,” said Kenneth L. Harris, Ph.D., president and CEO of the NBL and co-founder of NABB. “By continuing the legacy of Booker T. Washington, today we forge partnerships with aligned priorities to broker economic opportunities for Black businesses that are essential in the global marketplace.”

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The MBDA, as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment, growth, and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses in America. The agency is committed to wealth creation in minority communities. Visit

About the National Alliance for Black Business (NABB)

The NABB represents a historic partnership between the NBL, the NBCC, and a consortium of Black-led national organizations dedicated to a unified global Black business agenda. Visit

About the National Business League (NBL)

The NBL, founded by the legendary Booker T. Washington, is the nation’s first and oldest trade association for Black business and celebrates 123 years of service to Black business and the African diaspora. Visit

About the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)

The NBCC is the largest federation of Black Chambers of Commerce in the world and celebrates 30 years of service to Black businesses throughout the United States and internationally. Visit

Gabriel Cushing: (202) 482-4086 email: (MBDA)
Minehaha Forman: (510) 220-0759 email: (NABB)



Author:   AICSG Staff    Published: 2/27/2023       Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group

Group of young leaders sit around a table in a library

Younger leaders, particularly BIPOC leaders, have too often been excluded from positions of power, intentionally by design or due to a limited understanding of barriers to participation.

Communities that diversify their leadership and ensure that leadership structures are accessible to all community members make it more likely that the whole community will engage and share perspectives in planning and doing.

To explore advancing rural and Indigenous youth leadership, Bonita Robertson-Hardy, Aspen CSG’s co-Executive Director, facilitated an Open Field virtual discussion of 90 rural leaders with all levels of experience.

We’ve compiled some high-level takeaways for you below, but be sure to check out the full blog.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP  Evidence shows that a wider range of participation, including from youth leaders and young professionals, builds more durable and inclusive community leadership, ultimately leading to a wider range of community benefits. Participants shared some ideas they are using to support youth leadership.

PARTNERSHIPS FOR YOUTH SUCCESS  An insight discussed by multiple participants was that youth organizations and community groups need to work together to prepare adults, especially elected officials and educators, to be ready and willing to listen and support youth leadership. What does it take for a local organization to coach adults and support youth leaders?

RECRUITING AND RETAINING YOUTH  Participants suggested that offering internships and mentoring programs are an important way to engage youth in local leadership opportunities. Other participants suggested that local tax incentives should be used to support youth programs rather than as subsidies to attract corporations. Here are other suggestions that participants had to recruit and retain young people.

INTERNSHIPS AND OPPORTUNITIES  Rural-focused internships can help rural young adults stay engaged and employed within their community – and learn valuable skills and make important career connections simultaneously. Here are the internship and fellowship opportunities shared by participants.


Attended an Open Field? We’d like to invite you to provide input on Aspen CSG’s Open Field virtual events. This 10-question survey will take 5 mins to complete. Your responses are anonymous and will help Aspen CSG understand the value you get and inform future sessions.

“Flipping the script” on rural economic development 

Aspen CSG co-Executive Director Bonita Robertson-Hardy’s latest piece in The Daily Yonder notes how funders play a pivotal role in changing the narrative on rural communities.

The recommendations in the op-ed stem from Measure Up: A Call to Action. The report highlights six principles for measuring rural development progress to open and deepen conversations about better ways for funders and investors to design programs that consider lower-capacity communities’ realities, needs, and goals.

Recommendations to “flip the script” on how rural communities, funders, and other stakeholders approach economic development:

  • Co-create funding opportunities with communities to collectively define success.
  • Focus on closing divides by race, place, and class.
  • Measure collaboration to support the field.
  • Building momentum and breaking the obsession with misleading notions of “scale.”

Rural communities are deeply woven together, and actions on any one of these issues will promote a virtuous cycle. Similarly, continued acceptance of the status quo will only lead to steeper declines.

What other recommendations do you have for funders, governments, and other national, regional, and local organizations to be more responsive and effective?

Advancing Equity & Increasing Regional Prosperity

Through Natural Disaster to Prosperity: A Call to Action identifies five principles to improve health and economic outcomes for rural communities and Native nations — as well as actionable steps to achieve these principles.

The report was informed by conversations with rural economic and community development practitioners from a diverse range of rural communities and Native nations through our Thrive Rural Action Learning Exchange (TRALE).

The third principle in Through Natural Disaster to Prosperity: A Call to Action is to use disaster response to advance equity and increase regional prosperity.

Communities with higher poverty rates and less capacity due to structural discrimination and disinvestment may be more vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters and less able to access and activate the resources necessary for recovery and long-term prosperity.

Disaster preparedness, response, and recovery programs must be intentionally designed to mitigate and address inequities — one way is to ensure that those most affected are part of the leadership in planning, response, and recovery.


Tools and Resources for the Field

Image of headphones, paper and pens, and a computer keyboard

Updated weekly: See our federal resource page for opportunities for rural people and places.

  • [TODAY at 1 pm ET] Give feedback on broadband TA: This USDA listening session will solicit insight into the challenges communities face in gaining broadband access, the types of technical assistance resources that would best serve these communities, and how RUS can best provide support.
  • Rural entrepreneurial development strategies: In this episode of Pathways to Rural Prosperity podcast, Kate Hodel and Don Macke discuss their work on e2’s newest book, Strategies for Rural Prosperity. The book captures over a decade of e2 field experience detailing 11 universal rural entrepreneurial development strategies in practical and useful ways.
  • The Daily Yonder documentaryEast Kentucky Flood tells many stories of heroism, sacrifice, and resilience that characterized the region’s response to the floods of July 2022. The documentary highlights common challenges that many parts of the world face with similar weather events and climate catastrophes.
  • Industry snapshot for Native CDFIs: Oweesta just released their performance report as a reference guide for Native CDFIs and all stakeholders in the Native CDFI industry.
  • Sick leave: In partnership with the CDC, ChangeLab Solutions created a fact sheet and an infographic that provide an overview of the policy landscape for paid sick leave.
  • Building long-term community power: Join Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) on March 2 for a dynamic, interactive conversation with organizers on what it takes to educate, mobilize, and build grassroots leadership in marginalized communities in Wisconsin to create systemic transformation.
  • Adolescent mental health: Join the Aspen Health Innovators Fellows and experts to explore strategies in response to the adolescent mental health crisis through a five-part dialogue series. Hear the latest research and strategies to engage young people with tailored solutions for their identity at a time when mental health providers are at capacity.
  • Community investment in Central Appalachia: A hearty congrats to Invest Appalachia, a regional social investment platform, which secured $19 million of new investment in the first close of the Invest Appalachia Fund. The fund will provide capital to community economic development projects.

EDA Seeks Input on Recompete Pilot Program

Author: US EDA Staff   Published: 2/23/2023      Economic Development Administration 

USEDA Banner


Recompete White Banner

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) welcomes public input and perspectives on the planning and design of the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete Pilot Program).

The program is an economic development initiative that will provide grant funding to distressed communities across the country to create and connect workers to good jobs and support long-term comprehensive economic development by helping to reduce the high, prime-age (25 to 54 years of age) employment gap.

Today, EDA published a Request for Information (RFI) on the Recompete Pilot Program in the Federal Register to solicit public input about the program’s planning and design. EDA welcomes all responses that stakeholders believe will support development of a strong Recompete Pilot Program. 

For more information about the program and for instructions on how to submit your input, click the button below.

More Information on Recompete Pilot Program

This is the second RFI recently issued by EDA. Last week, EDA published an RFI on the Tech Hubs program, soliciting public input on that program’s design, structure, and evaluation.

The Tech Hubs program will help U.S. regions build and evolve into centers of innovation. It seeks to support key technologies and industries of the future, strengthen U.S. economic and national security, and ensure that industries of the future start, grow, and remain in the United States.

More Information on Tech Hub


U.S. Census Bureau 2023 Opportunity Project Summit

Author: US Census Bureau Staff     Published: 2/26/2023      USCB

White House Council on Environmental Quality

Author: WHCEQ Staff    Published: 2/24/2023     White House Council on Environmental Quality


In Environmental News

Yesterday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the availability of $550 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to expedite investments through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking (EJ TCGM) program. This new, innovative program will fund up to 11 entities to serve as grantmakers to community-based projects that reduce pollution. Grantmakers will develop an efficient, simplified process so that organizations that historically have faced barriers to receiving funding can more seamlessly apply for grants that address environmental harms and risks. Read more here.

This week the Administration proposed the first-ever Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale, its latest steps to expand offshore wind jobs and local economic development across the country. This action advances President Biden’s clean energy and economic agenda, including by revitalizing American manufacturing and harnessing American innovation to deliver reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, while saving families money, strengthening energy security, and conserving natural resources. Read more here.

On Tuesday, February 21, EPA Administrator Regan traveled back to East Palestine, Ohio with OH Governor De Wine and PA Governor Shapiro. While on the ground, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Norfolk Southern to conduct all necessary actions associated with the cleanup from the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment. EPA’s order marks the transition of the multi-agency response from its “emergency phase” to a longer-term remediation phase.


As part of EPA’s legally binding order, Norfolk Southern will be required to:

  • Identify and clean up contaminated soil and water resources.
  • Reimburse EPA for cleaning services to be offered to residents and businesses to provide an additional layer of reassurance, which will be conducted by EPA staff and contractors.
  • Attend and participate in public meetings at EPA’s request and post information online.
  • Pay for EPA’s costs for work performed under this order.

Biden-Harris Administration Deploys Additional Federal Resources to East Palestine, Ohio – The White House

EPA Resources:

  • EPA Hotline: EPA Region 5 has established a dedicated phone line (215-814-2400) staffed by community involvement coordinators.
  • Website for Residents: EPA has set up a web page for residents to stay informed about the most up to date monitoring results, as well as additional resources for members of the community East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment Emergency Response | US EPA

Get Involved

The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC) will hold a virtual public meeting March 1, 2023 from approximately 3:00 – 7:30 PM ET. This free meeting is open to all members of the public. Individual registration is REQUIRED and is available through the scheduled end time of the meeting day.

Register for the WHEJAC virtual public meeting here:

Keep reading for more environmental updates from the Biden-Harris Administration and to learn about opportunities to provide public input on ongoing energy and environmental initiatives. If you were forwarded this email, or are not on our list yet, please sign up here.



Last week

The Administration also made several new Inflation Reduction Act implementation announcements.

  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making $850 million in fiscal year 2023 funding available for agricultural producers and forest landowners nationwide to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices. Read more here.
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance on Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) programs that will help revitalize and strengthen the nation’s energy economy and infrastructure while ensuring underserved and historic energy communities are not left behind. View the full announcement here.
  • The EPA announced the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a historic new program that will provide competitive grants to mobilize financing and leverage private capital for clean energy and climate projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions with an emphasis on projects that benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities, furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to environmental justice. Learn more here.

The Biden-Harris Administration also announced new actions to ensure that electric vehicle (EV) charging funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is convenient, reliable, and Made-in-America. These steps will advance the President’s vision of building 500,000 EV chargers by 2030 and delivering a convenient, reliable, and Made-in-America EV charging network.

Finally, to strengthen the Federal Government’s ability to address the barriers that underserved communities continue to face, President Biden signed a new Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The executive order reaffirms the Administration’s commitment to deliver equity and build an America in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Full announcement here.



CNN: Biden administration announces first-ever wind energy lease sale in Gulf of Mexico

The Hill: EPA outlines another $550 million toward addressing environmental inequity

Bloomberg Law: Biden Elevates Racial Equity Actions Across Federal Agencies

Reuters: U.S. World Bank pick comes with green finance cred


President Biden (@POTUS): “With the help of @SecGranholm and @SecretaryPete, I laid out a goal of building a Made-in-America electric vehicle charging network of 500,000 chargers on highways and in communities by 2030. Today’s actions get us closer to finishing the job and winning the global EV market.”

White House Senior Advisor Mitch Landrieu (@MitchLandrieu46): “The great American road trip will be electrified. @POTUS is creating a convenient, reliable, and Made-in-America electric vehicle charging network. From @ENERGY to @USDOT and private investments, today’s announcements are where the rubber meets the road.”

Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry (@ClimateEnvoy): “Ajay Banga is the right choice to take on the responsibilities of @WorldBank at this critical moment. The climate crisis requires new thinking and creative vision regarding finance, so that we can meet the challenge of the energy transition.”

Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm): @POTUS wants America to become a global leader of offshore wind technology and deployment. With his historic climate investments, @ENERGY is capturing this potential to spur private investment, boost the domestic supply chain and deliver on our bold clean energy goals.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $550 Million to Advance Environmental Justice

“Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the availability of $550 million from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to expedite investments through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking (EJ TCGM) program. This new, innovative program will fund up to 11 entities to serve as grantmakers to community-based projects that reduce pollution. Selected grantmakers will develop an efficient, simplified process so that organizations that historically have faced barriers to receiving funding can more seamlessly apply for grants that address environmental harms and risks.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $2.5 Billion to Cut Pollution and Deliver Economic Benefits to Communities Across the Nation

“The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today announced $2.52 billion in funding for two carbon management programs to catalyze investments in transformative carbon capture systems and carbon transport and storage technologies. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the two programs—Carbon Capture Large-Scale Pilots and Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program—aim to significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation and hard-to-abate industrial operations, an effort critical to addressing the climate crisis and meeting the President’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. ” Full announcement here.

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Actions to Expand Offshore Wind Nationally and Harness More Reliable, Affordable Clean Energy

“Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing its latest steps to expand offshore wind jobs and local economic development across the country. These actions, which include proposing the first-ever Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale, are advancing President Biden’s clean energy and economic agenda to revitalize American manufacturing and harness American innovation to deliver reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, while saving families money and strengthening energy security.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Department of Energy Announces New Actions to Accelerate U.S. Floating Offshore Wind Deployment

“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced new investments to secure U.S. leadership in floating offshore wind development by advancing offshore wind transmission planning, research and technology, and partnerships. These announcements are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Floating Offshore Wind Shot Summit, with the Departments of Energy, the Interior, Commerce, and Transportation convening stakeholders to drive progress. With two-thirds of America’s offshore wind resource located in deep-water areas that require floating platforms, capturing this vast potential could bring the benefits of clean power to millions of American homes and businesses.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Interior Department Proposes First-Ever Offshore Wind Sale in Gulf of Mexico

“In another step by the Biden-Harris administration to grow America’s clean energy economy, the Department of the Interior today is proposing the first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The announcement is part of the Administration’s latest actions to expand offshore wind opportunities to more regions of the country, building on investments in the President’s Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to spur offshore wind deployment and create good-paying jobs for American workers.” Full announcement here.


ICYMI: Biden-Harris Administration’s Inaugural Offshore Wind Shot Summit Demonstrates Momentum Toward U.S. Deployment Goals

“This week, at the inaugural Floating Offshore Wind Shot™ Summit, the Departments of Energy, the Interior, Commerce, and Transportation convened federal, state, Tribal, community, labor, industry, and community leaders to discuss significant progress toward development of floating offshore wind in the United States.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: DOE Announces $50 Million for Tribal Clean Energy Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $50 million in funding to support clean energy technology deployment on Tribal lands. This significant investment will strengthen Tribal energy sovereignty by bolstering ongoing efforts to lower energy costs, increase energy security and resilience, and provide electric power to unelectrified buildings. Accelerating the deployment of reliable clean energy in Tribal communities reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to honoring treaty and trust obligations and ensuring Tribal nations and their members benefit from the country’s clean energy transition. Full announcement here.


FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Deploys Additional Federal Resources to East Palestine, Ohio

The Biden-Harris Administration has mobilized a robust, multi-agency effort to support the people of East Palestine, Ohio. Full announcement here.


FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Standards and Major Progress for a Made-in-America National Network of Electric Vehicle Chargers

“Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its latest set of actions aimed at creating a convenient, reliable and Made-in-America electric vehicle (EV) charging network so that the great American road trip can be electrified. These steps will help the United States meet President Biden’s ambitious goals to confront the climate crisis, by building a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers along America’s highways and in our communities and have EVs make up at least 50% of new car sales by 2030, all while advancing an industrial strategy to continue to build-out the domestic EV and EV charging industry. The path to net-zero emissions by 2050 is creating good-paying manufacturing and installation jobs on the way.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Funding for Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Corridors, Expansion of EV Charging in Underserved Communities

“The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today announced funding to accelerate the creation of zero-emission vehicle corridors that expand the nation’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The Department has awarded $7.4 million to seven projects to develop medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen corridor infrastructure plans that will benefit millions of drivers across 23 states. Additionally, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, DOE announced its intent to release funding to address barriers to a cleaner, safer, more affordable, and more reliable Made in America EV charging network. These funding measures, in coordination with additional clean transportation announcements from the Federal Highway Administration and the White House, will be critical to achieving President Biden’s goals of building out a national network of 500,000 EV chargers and ensuring that 50% of new light-duty vehicle sales are electric by 2030.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Treasury, Energy Release Guidance on Inflation Reduction Act Programs to Incentivize Investments in Underserved Communities, Hard-Hit Coal Communities

“Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, the Inflation Reduction Act ensures all Americans benefit from the growth of the clean energy economy by driving investment in communities that have often been overlooked and left behind. These investments will create good-paying jobs in vital fields like clean energy manufacturing, critical minerals processing, and solar installation. These investments will also allow for existing energy infrastructure to be retooled for the clean energy economy and lower energy costs for families who have struggled to pay their utility bills. The guidance released today gets these programs off the ground, as we continue to work toward allocating incentives to these critical projects.” Full announcement here.


FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Delivers on its Promises to Invest in Rural Communities, Nutrition Security, Climate-Smart Agriculture, More and Better Markets and Lower Costs for Families

“President Biden is delivering on his promises to build a better America and rebuild the backbone of the country, the middle class. As the 2023 State of the Union approaches, it is clear that President Biden’s plan to lower costs for families and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out is working – we’ve seen the strongest two years of job growth in U.S. history, wages are up, inflation is moderating and the administration is making the biggest investment in America’s infrastructure since the 1950s. As part of this tremendous impact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues its efforts to build more and better markets for American agriculture, provide food and nutrition security, advance climate-smart agriculture, and ensure that USDA programs and services are accessible to all Americans.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: EPA Administrator Regan Marks Delivery of Kansas’ First Electric School Buses, Announces Electric Utility Pledge to Support Successful Deployment of Electric School Buses Nationwide

“Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan visited Wabaunsee USD 329 School District in Alma, Kansas to celebrate the delivery of the state’s first all-electric school buses and mark the historic investment in America under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Administrator Regan, joined by students, school officials, and community leaders, highlighted how initiatives like EPA’s Clean School Bus (CSB) Program are delivering environmental and economic benefits for communities like Wabaunsee. During the visit, Administrator Regan also announced a new pledge from electric utility partners to support efforts to electrify the nation’s school bus fleet.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $74 Million to Advance Enhanced Geothermal Systems

“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a funding opportunity of up to $74 million for up to seven pilot projects that will test the efficacy and scalability of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Directed by the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the pilot projects will use innovative technology and a variety of development techniques to capture the Earth’s abundant heat resources in diverse geologic settings. Through this investment, DOE hopes the research and development from the findings would demonstrate the growth and ultimate potential for geothermal energy to provide reliable, around-the-clock electricity to tens of millions of homes across the country.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Interior Department Takes Action to Strengthen Endangered Species Act

“The Department of the Interior today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a new rule to strengthen voluntary conservation opportunities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed rule would revise permitting under Section 10 of the Act to promote species conservation through voluntary agreements and make the process clearer, easier and more efficient. The announcement comes as the Endangered Species Act turns 50 years old in 2023. Throughout the year, the Department will celebrate the importance of the ESA in preventing the extinction of imperiled species, promoting the recovery of wildlife and conserving the habitats upon which they depend.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: DOE Launches Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation

“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public and stakeholder input on the Department’s first ever agency-related Foundation. Authorized by President Biden’s bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the Foundation for Energy Security and Innovation (FESI) will support DOE to carry out its critical mission to ensure America’s continued security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions. A key aim of FESI is to accelerate the commercialization of new and existing energy technologies by raising and investing funds through engagements with the private sector and philanthropic communities. The Foundation will help DOE provide additional resources, tools, and capacities for potential partners and communities across the country—supporting solutions-driven research and innovation that strengthens America’s energy and national security while helping achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious clean energy goals.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Additional $1B in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funds to Start New Cleanup Projects and Expedite On-going Cleanup Work Across the Country

“Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the second wave of approximately $1 billion in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to start new cleanup projects at 22 Superfund sites and expedite over 100 other ongoing cleanups across the country. Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed, including in manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills, and mining sites. Superfund cleanups help transform contaminated properties and create jobs in overburdened communities, while repurposing these sites for a wide range of uses, including public parks, retail businesses, office space, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. In addition, these sites can support natural areas, parks, and recreation facilities, providing greenspace and safe places for families to play outside.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Department of Energy Announces $30 Million for Materials and Manufacturing to Lower Costs of Large Wind Turbines

“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a $30 million funding opportunity to advance the cost-effective domestic manufacturing of materials, including lightweight composites, that allow wind turbines to produce power more efficiently. Because wind energy is the largest source of renewable power in the United States and one of the most affordable sources of energy today, it is a critical tool for reducing our reliance on fossil energy, and next-generation technologies and manufacturing improvements will help bring down costs even more. The improved materials and manufacturing processes envisioned under this funding opportunity have the potential to reduce wind energy costs and expand the deployment of the nation’s wind energy portfolio in support of President Biden’s goals to reach 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $2 Billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to States and Territories to Address Emerging Contaminants like PFAS in Drinking Water

“Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the availability of $2 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants, like Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water across the country. This investment, which is allocated to states and territories, will be made available to communities as grants through EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program and will promote access to safe and clean water in small, rural, and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies. Administrator Regan announced the water infrastructure investments in Maysville, North Carolina while holding a community roundtable with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser and other state and local leaders.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $84 Million to Helps in Drinking Water

“Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $83.7 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants, like Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), in drinking water in New York. This investment, which is allocated to states and territories, will be made available to communities as grants through EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (EC-SDC) Grant Program and will promote access to safe and clean water in small, rural and disadvantaged communities while supporting local economies. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the availability of $2 billion.” New York Communities Address Emerging Contaminant.” Full announcement here.


PRESS RELEASE: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Historic Investments to Support America’s Energy and Industrial Communities

“The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today announced several major programs to accelerate domestic clean energy manufacturing and ensure traditionally underserved communities benefit from clean energy technologies. As part of this whole of government approach, DOE is partnering with Treasury and IRS to implement two programs funded by the President’s Inflation Reduction Act: the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program (48(e)), and the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit(48C). Continuing the effort to uplift underserved communities, DOE also opened applications for the $750 million Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to support industrial projects by small- and medium-sized manufacturers in energy communities. These announcements underscore the Administration’s commitment to leading an equitable clean energy transition and supporting the goals of President Biden’s Justice 40 Initiative.” Full announcement here.


Federal agencies are seeking public input to help inform the development of funding opportunities, grant processes, policy and program implementation. Below is a list of open Requests for Information, where you can submit your comments/feedback.

Department of Energy: Request for Information on Inflation Reduction Act Home Energy Rebate Programs

  • Summary: The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) invites public input for its Request for Information (RFI) number DE-FOA-DE-FOA-0002981 regarding the development of best practices for the Home Energy Rebate programs in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Responses to this RFI will be used for planning purposes to develop one or multiple opportunities to assist states, territories, Indian Tribes, as well as potentially other entities, in designing, managing, and improving the Home Energy Rebate programs.

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Framing the National Nature Assessment

  • Summary: Nature is important in its own right, and provides value to the lives of all Americans. To increase our knowledge of nature in the United States and its links to global change, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), on behalf of the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), requests input from the public to help inform the framing, development, and eventual use of the first National Nature Assessment (NNA). USGCRP committed to conducting a National Nature Assessment on April 8, 2022, under the authority of the Global Change Research Act of 1990. President Biden reinforced and elevated the importance of this assessment to a matter of national policy by calling for it in Executive Order 14072 ( documents/ 2022/ 04/ 27/ 2022-09138/ strengthening-the-nations-forests-communities-and-local-economies) on Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities and Local Economies (April 22, 2022). This request for information (RFI) will inform USGCRP as it develops this first-of-its-kind assessment.
  • Link:
  • Deadline: March 31, 2023

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget

  • Summary: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requests comments on the initial proposals from the Federal Interagency Technical Working Group on Race and Ethnicity Standards (Working Group) for revising OMB’s 1997 Statistical Policy Directive No. 15: Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (SPD 15).[1] Responses to this Notice will be shared with the Working Group and will help the Working Group develop their final recommendations to OMB and will also help OMB determine how to revise SPD 15 to improve the quality and usefulness of Federal race and ethnicity data.
  • Link:
  • Deadline: April 12, 2023

DOE Awards $6.3 Million to Black Owners of Solar Services (BOSS) to Advance Equity in Clean Energy Business and Workforce Development

Author: US DOE  Staff       Published: 2/23/2023    DOE


Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) today awarded a grant totaling approximately $6.3 million to Black Owners of Solar Services (BOSS). The cooperative agreement establishes a regional effort to coordinate and train minority-owned businesses on how to apply for DOE funding and access DOE programs, benefits, services and opportunities.

BOSS is the largest community of experienced African American energy professionals working in the solar photovoltaic space. The partnership will make a monumental contribution to the public, and more specifically, minority owned businesses in the energy sector by reducing barriers to access all areas of the federal government. It will also help foster a collaborative environment to connect entrepreneurs, students and workers in the clean energy space.

“This collaboration will have a critical role in helping to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s equity and climate goals,” said ED’s Director Shalanda Baker. “We have partnered with an organization that is positioned to help us reach critical players in the industry as we strive to increase the participation of minority business owners as we move toward a clean energy future.”

In support of DOE’s Justice40 Initiative efforts, the agreement with BOSS helps advance our goals by increasing parity in clean energy technology (e.g., solar and storage), stimulating clean energy enterprise creation, along with creating clean energy jobs and training for disadvantaged and underserved communities.

DOE is committed to accelerating pollution reduction and decarbonization efforts, spurring economic growth in underserved areas, and prioritizing equity and inclusion to meet U.S. climate goals. To learn more about the Department’s Justice40 Initiative, minority-owned businesses funding opportunities and more, visit our website.

Solar Energy Grants for Farms

Author: Chris Clayton     Published: 2/6/2023    Progressive Farmer

John Kocol talks about 96 solar panels he had installed in 2015 at Renaissance Farms in Florida. A REAP grant, a solar investment tax credit and other tax deductions, collectively dropped the project costs about 70%. The solar panels have lowered and stabilized his energy costs. REAP grants have increased from covering 25% of a project to 40% now, and potentially 50% of the project costs in the future. (DTN image from webinar screenshot)

OMAHA (DTN) — Farmers and small businesses considering adding solar energy to their operations should be looking at new incentives and funding under USDA’s Renewable Energy for America Program, known as REAP.

The advocacy group Solar United Neighbors held a webinar last week touting some of the changes to REAP with applications due for the next funding cycle on March 31.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that passed last fall quadrupled REAP funding to $180.28 million per year for FY 2023-2027. The bill also increased the federal match for grants from 25% to 40% this year and as much as 50% beyond that.

REAP has both loan guarantees for up to 75% of eligible project costs as well as grants right now up to 40% of project costs. Loans and grants can also be combined to provide up to 75% of project costs.

Before the IRA, REAP was considered popular, “But the funding was nowhere near big enough to fund every good project that applied for a grant,” said Emma Searson, a policy and advocacy campaigner for Solar United Neighbors. She added, “There is just a lot more REAP funding to go around this year and in future years.”

Searson noted, “This is really a historic opportunity for farmers and small business owners.”

Solar projects that receive funding from REAP could qualify for other federal solar tax credits or bonus depreciation as well.


REAP is set up specifically to help farmers or rural small businesses.

To be defined as a “farmer,” producers must show that at least 50% of their gross income is from their agricultural operations.

For small rural businesses, they generally must be located in a community with fewer than 50,000 people. Businesses located in more urban areas can qualify if they can show their business is related to a rural area. Businesses must also meet the definition of “small” with net worth under $15 million and net income under $5 million annually for the previous two years.

A small business can also include a cooperative, a rural electric utility, or a tribal corporation.


Most REAP applications and grant awards are under $80,000. The application for fall grants and loans is exclusively for those smaller projects. The spring application process open now does provide awards for larger projects as well.

Applications are scored on a set of criteria, one of which provides 10 points for application requests under $250,000.

Other scoring for a project includes points based on the percentage of energy that would be replaced by the project. A project that would replace more than 50% of annual consumption would receive 15 points, while a project that replaces less than 25% of power would only score 5 points.

Other points are scored based on the payback of energy savings, as well as the commitment of funds for the project.

Veterans, socially disadvantaged applicants or projects in disaster areas or U.S. Census blocks with high poverty rates also receive 10 points.


Fritz Ebinger, a solar energy developer in Minnesota, worked for seven years at the University of Minnesota Extension on REAP projects. He cautioned that farmers and small businesses should submit their applications before they build their project. REAP does not provide grants or loans after the fact.

Once an application is submitted, then a project can be built without knowing if awarded. However, Ebinger warned against building a solar project assuming you will receive a REAP grant. He said people have been stuck with large loans in the past when their project was denied funding.

“Make sure you think through your project economics,” he said.


Some documents will include three years of tax returns and electric bills for the last 12 months.

A project quote will also be required from an installer.

Details will be required on the financial obligations already committed to the project, whether it is your funds or an outside loan.

When you start to apply for a project, you will need to receive a federal Unique Entity ID — unique code to your project

Besides soliciting bids from contractors, Ebinger recommended contacting the Rural Electric Cooperative or utility on the front end to learn the technical aspects of plugging into a project.

Every state also has different laws and rules about how solar projects connect into the grid.


There are several federal forms involved, including the USDA RD-4280-3A, the main application form. Other forms include:

— SF-424 — Business information.

— 424C — Budget form, match REAP.

— 324D — Construction.

— RD-1940-20 — Environmental form, mostly boxes.

Go to a USDA Office of Rural Development representative or the website….

While the list of forms can be daunting, Ebinger said, “I don’t want people to feel intimidated; they are pretty straightforward.”

As far as taking the time to apply for REAP grants, Ebinger added, “If you don’t shoot, you don’t score.”

Ebinger also recommended farmers and small-business owners interested in REAP applications call their local or state USDA Rural Development offices. He suggested asking staff about the other REAP applications in the area or complications others might be having with their projects.

“It’s always good to have a good conversation on the early end,” Ebinger said.

USDA Rural Development will contact successful applications, typically in about six weeks.


John Kocol, general manager of Renaissance Farms of the Keys in Islamorada, Florida, received a REAP grant for 96 solar panels in 2015.

Breaking down his project at the time, the total project cost was $94,600. At the time, he received a 25% REAP grant that reduced the costs $23,650. His project also qualified for the 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit that reduced costs another $21,285. He then took a Section 179 deduction on the project as well.

The grant and multiple tax credits added up to $65,563 and brought down final project costs to $29,137, or 30% of the initial project costs.

Kocol said the solar panels are saving his business an average of $6,403 per year on utility costs. He noted his panels also are warrantied for 25 years. They are also providing fixed costs at a time of high volatility in the natural gas market.

“So, you are looking at a system here that you can count on for reliability and performance for the long term,” Kocol said. He added, “This is a way you can actually take that variable out of the equation, and in the process, you can help Mother Earth.”

Kocol pointed to an online tool, the PVWatts calculator (…), that can help a business figure out their power usage, how much a project could cost to build and how much power savings it could generate.

“This really starts with your consumption. You need to look at your business and how much power you are consuming.” Kocol said.

The rules on tax credits have changed since 2015. Section 179 is not allowed for solar equipment, but bonus depreciation is allowed. Here is where you want to talk to an accountant about the specifics of what your farm or business could receive for solar or equipment tax credits based on your farm’s business income and other deductions.


Sometime this year, USDA will provide details on how farmers or businesses can qualify for grants as much as 50% of the project costs, but the maximum grant this spring will be 40% of costs.

It’s not clear how projects will qualify for that extra 10%. It’s expected that a smaller group of applications will qualify, Searson said.

Solar United Neighbors has produced a guide farmers and businesses can download to walk them through all the steps for applying for a REAP project.

What new legalization efforts are trending for 2023?

Author: Kacey Morrissey    Published: 2/21/2023     New Frontier Data

Your Cannabis Intel Brief


New state markets could inject an additional $18 billion annually into U.S. legal cannabis market by 2030

New Legalization Efforts Trending for 2023As detailed in the upcoming 2023 US Cannabis Report: Market Updates & Projections. Last year, the U.S. legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $29 billion in annual sales combined across states where sale is legal for adult use and/or medical purposes, and this year sales are expected to top $34 billion. Based on New Frontier Data’s analysis of state legalization efforts, nine states are demonstrating strong momentum to join the market and legalize adult-use cannabis prior to 2030, while another…


U.S. Cannabis Market Projections: Implications across market types

March 2, 2023


Join our CKO Dr. Amanda Reiman and Senior Director of Industry Analytics, Kacey Morrissey for a discussion of market dynamics including potential state market activations, consumption trends, and product innovation.

When: March 2 • 3:00 pm EST:

Where: Online/Virtual:

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Go Beyond the Headlines

Explore Insights and Analysis of Top Headlines in Cannabis with the Industry’s Experts.

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Hispanics in Energy 2023 Energy Legislative Summit

Author: US DOE Staff      Published: 2/15/2023       DOE News

Please join us for the 2023 Energy Legislative Summit at the U.S. Dept. of Energy*, which includes Keynote Speakers and Panel Discussions with Congressional Members and Top-Level Utility and Energy Executives. —

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EPA outlines $27B in clean energy grants as Biden administration remains open to national green bank

Author: Robert Walton       Published: 2/15/2023      Utility Dive

A close up of Michael Regan

Dive Brief:

  • The Biden administration on Tuesday sketched out plans to make almost $27 billion available for clean energy and climate projects through a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act, with a focus on minority and low-income groups.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will open two competitions this summer to distribute the funding: a $20 billion General and Low-Income Assistance Competition and a $7 billion Zero-Emissions Technology Fund Competition.
  • Initial plans call for making the $20 billion available through between two and 15 grants to eligible non-profits, though EPA officials say they remain open the idea of tasking a national entity to distribute the funding.

EPA’s announcement Tuesday was a setback for the Coalition for Green Capital, which had lobbied to be a national administrator of the clean energy funding program. Nonetheless the nonprofit, which advocates for the development of regional green banks, celebrated EPA’s announcement.

“CGC applauds EPA for launching the award of grants under the historic [Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund],” Reed Hundt, chairman and CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, said in a statement. In particular, the group believes the program will have widespread benefits in communities across the country by deploying projects to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

Green banks are financial institutions that work to finance clean energy solutions and technologies. Proponents of a national green bank say it could help accelerate the energy transition across the country, while others argue smaller, regional organizations can best help distribute funds to underserved communities.

EPA officials on Tuesday told reporters they remain open to a single national entity acting as a green bank.

“At this juncture, there’s just no reason for us to take any options off the table and box ourselves in,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a briefing reported on by Bloomberg.

“For years, we’ve fought to take the idea of a national climate bank from a vision to a reality. With today’s action from the EPA, we’re one step closer,” Senator Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, said in a statement.

As part of the Zero-Emissions Technology Fund Competition, EPA said it will award $7 billion in competitive grants to states, tribes, municipalities and eligible nonprofit entities for residential rooftop solar, community solar and associated storage. The agency said it expects to award up to 60 grants under this competition.

“I’m thrilled with the progress EPA has made so far in getting this critical program off the ground,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said. The grant programs will create jobs and bring “affordable, homegrown clean energy to communities across the country.”

Entities receiving part of the $20 billion fund can include non-profits “designed to provide capital, leverage private capital and provide other forms of financial assistance” to deploy low- and zero-emission technologies and services, the agency said.

“Together, these entities will leverage public dollars with private capital to invest in projects that reduce pollution and lower energy costs for families, particularly those in the low-income and disadvantaged communities that have had unequal access to private capital for far too long,” EPA said.

EPA also announced it will host a “national Community Roundtable series” to continue discussions around how the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will operate and what projects it will fund. The agency said it anticipates publishing a notice of funding opportunity for both grant competitions early this summer.

Canadian company cleared to build $6B green hydrogen facility with 2 GW wind farm

Author:  Emma Penrod   Published: 2/14 /2023     Utility Dive

View of wind turbines near Saint-Lawrence river in La Gaspésie region, situated in the Canadian province of Quebec.

  • After receiving environmental approval, EverWind Fuels Co. is moving forward with plans to build a $6 billion facility in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, that will be capable of producing up to 1.1 millions tons (1 million metric tons) of green hydrogen and clean ammonia per year.
  • Although the first phase of the project will be powered by power purchase agreements, the company also plans to build a 2-GW wind farm to supply power by the time the facility reaches full capacity.
  • Gigawatt-scale green hydrogen projects are no longer a rarity. Multiple such projects are in the works around the world, according to Mona Dajani, global head of the energy and infrastructure practice at law firm Shearman & Sterling. However, Dajani said the Point Tupper project is notable in that it has already secured two offtakers.

Canada is looking to enter the green hydrogen game with an early at-scale green hydrogen and ammonia project in Nova Scotia.

The project is on track to begin construction before this year’s midpoint and should be capable of producing just under 2,200 tons of green hydrogen annually by 2025, potentially making EverWind Fuels Co. one of the first independent green hydrogen producers in the world, according to a company announcement released last week.

EverWind Fuels Co. plans to scale the site up to 1.1 million tons of production annually following the construction of a 2-GW onshore wind farm to power its production in 2026. Green hydrogen is produced by using electrolysis to split water into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen. While conventional hydrogen is derived from natural gas, it’s considered “clean” or “green” when the electricity that powers the electrolysis process comes from renewable sources. EverWind Fuels also plans to make green ammonia, which is produced by combining green hydrogen with nitrogen, at the Point Tupper site. Ammonia is considered easier to store and transport than hydrogen, and it’s a key component of in-demand, hard-to-decarbonize products such as fertilizers.

EverWind Fuels determined that building its own, dedicated power supply was necessary to secure adequate renewable energy for the project, according to a company statement provided to Utility Dive. The company is also pursuing a second 2-GW green hydrogen project on the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Canada is not, broadly speaking, a major player on the hydrogen front, Dajani said. The largest hydrogen projects currently in the works are dispersed across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Gulf Coast of the United States. However, Dajani said that the Point Tupper project is notable in that it has secured two viable offtakers — E.ON and Uniper — for the hydrogen it plans to produce.

It’s not that there’s a shortage of would-be offtakers for green hydrogen, Dajani said. She’s been involved in negotiations involving airlines, turbine manufacturers, major utilities, and food companies. The latter group may sound like an unusual fit, but major food corporations are interested in hydrogen for, among other things, its potential use in fertilizer, which saw prices rise 300% in 2022. However, most of these projects remain stuck in a chicken-and-egg scenario, she said: Project developers want to build hydrogen plants. Offtakers want to buy green hydrogen. But each is waiting for the other to make the first move.

Dajani doesn’t expect the current gridlock to last much longer. She anticipates gigawatt-scale green hydrogen projects with committed offtakers will be announced in the U.S. within the next year, although at the moment, she said, she can’t name the specific companies that are in the lead.

Much of the current U.S. activity is a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, she said. Green hydrogen subsidies and incentives within the act effectively cut the cost of green hydrogen development by half, adding to the $8 billion-plus grant opportunities that were already underway at the Department of Energy to promote green hydrogen development. This influx of spending has some large companies, including oil majors and some of the largest utilities in the U.S., racing to get ahead of the likely flood of competition in hydrogen production.

Corporate Pledges to Fight Climate Change Are Falling Way Short. America’s Culture War Isn’t Helping

Author:  Kristoffer Tigue        published: 2/14/2023       Inside Climate Street

Inside Climate News

Today's Climate

America’s top Wall Street regulator might scale back a proposal that would require public companies operating in the United States to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and any financial risks they face from global warming. It’s a move that climate activists worry will prevent regulators from holding businesses accountable when their pledges to reduce their carbon footprints aren’t aligning with their actions.

Financial regulators have come under increasing pressure in recent years to address the private sector’s role in exacerbating climate change. Some 10,000 publicly listed companies are responsible for 40 percent of all climate warming emissions, more than twice what was previously believed, recent research found.

In response to that pressure, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a new rule last year that, among other things, would require certain large, publicly traded companies to report the climate emissions generated by their supply chains and customers—known as Scope 3 emissions—which experts say often make up the majority of the private sector’s carbon footprint.

That means businesses would not only take responsibility for the direct emissions produced by their factories or office buildings, but also for their indirect emissions, including those caused by the distribution of their goods and the transportation needs of their employees. For oil and gas companies, it would also mean they would tally the greenhouse gas emissions created by customers who burn their gasoline while driving—by far the largest segment of the transportation sector’s massive carbon footprint.

But amid intense backlash from corporate America and legal threats from Republican lawmakers promising to wage war on what they call “woke capitalism,” Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler is now considering removing the Scope 3 requirements from the proposed rule, according to several news reports citing people familiar with the commission’s plans.

Conservative lawmakers and business trade groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have opposed the draft rule, saying it would impose overly burdensome costs on companies and force them to violate their fiduciary duties to investors. Proponents, however, say the rule is not only necessary for tackling climate change, but that it would actually help companies stay solvent in the long run as the climate crisis worsens.

“The facts are clear: Reducing emissions by half by 2030 is necessary to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, and the private sector has an important role to play,” Michael Sheldrick, co-founder of social justice advocacy nonprofit Global Citizen, wrote in an op-ed for Forbes on Sunday. “Ignoring growing climate threats may in the long run have disastrous effects on a business’ workforce, supply chain and business models.”

In fact, a growing number of economists now argue that the consequences of climate change are already imposing increased costs on businesses and governments around the world, and as countries transition to cleaner energy, companies that are slow to adapt risk losing out financially.

Climate-related natural disasters in the U.S. alone caused a whopping $165 billion in damages in 2021, recent government data revealed. And some of the world’s largest financial analysis firms have estimated that without stronger intervention, the impacts of global warming could slash the world’s gross domestic product anywhere from 4 percent to 18 percent by 2050, which translates to trillions of dollars in potential lost revenue.

Some research suggests that businesses also stand to make more profit by decarbonizing their operations sooner rather than later. A study last year that examined the financial performance of 465 companies between 2015 and 2020 found a correlation between stronger decarbonization efforts and higher profits. Another analysis published last month found that 99 percent of America’s 210 remaining coal power plants would be more cost-effective as solar or wind farms.

But despite that evidence, reports published in recent years have found that many of the world’s biggest companies are failing to reduce their carbon emissions quickly enough while overselling their climate efforts to the public. Adding to that body of evidence is an analysis published this week by environmental watchdogs Carbon Market Watch and the NewClimate Institute, which found that the net zero emissions pledges made by some of the world’s largest corporations will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by just 36 percent by 2030. That’s less than half the amount needed to keep the world aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The report’s authors called for stronger regulatory oversight on corporate climate pledges to prevent companies from “greenwashing”—in other words, publicizing their actions as more environmentally friendly than they actually are. The vast majority of corporate climate pledges rely on carbon offsets that mostly claim to reduce emissions by planting trees, for example, but reviews of those programs have found that upwards of 90 percent of them have been entirely ineffective at achieving their aims.

Climate-conscious investors and other environmental activists, including Global Citizen’s Sheldrick, say that stronger financial regulations, like the proposed SEC rule, are needed to address those problems. But as the GOP drags the proposed U.S. rule into America’s culture war, many onlookers now worry those regulations will also fall short.

“In the face of opposing and conflicting views, it may be difficult for some business leaders to know what to do,” Sheldrick said. “In the end though, all of us will have to confront the hard reality of catastrophic climate change if action is not taken promptly.”

Thanks for reading Today’s Climate, and I’ll be back in your inbox on Friday.

Today’s Indicator

35.2° F

That’s the average temperature for the contiguous United States this January, making the month about 5 degrees warmer than average and the sixth warmest ever on record, according to newly released government data.

Green The Church Weekly News

Author: GTC Staff      Published: 2/14/2023    Green The Church Weekly News

Green The Church Weekly News

Greetings Ronald,Here’s what’s new at Green The Church the week of February 13, 2023.

Green The Church Louisiana in Everyday Health

Rev. Emily Carroll stands in front of the White House

Green The Church Louisiana and GTC National Field Director Rev. Emily Carroll are featured this month in an important article in the Black Health section of Everyday Health online. Black Communities Fight for Cleaner Air in ‘Cancer Alley’ highlights the staggering rates of cancer, asthma, and other illnesses in the 85-mile stretch of land along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge—filled with petrochemical plants—that is home largely to Black communities. Many have extraordinary levels of cancer and other illnesses that they attribute to industrial pollution.

The article also shares the stories of those fighting for environmental justice, including Rev. Carroll and Green The Church Louisiana. Read the full article here.

Events to Benefit Rev. Dr. Kenneth Davis S.T.E.A.M. Scholarship

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Davis STEAM Scholarship Events

All are welcome to participate in upcoming events that will support the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Davis Scholarship Fund. A Casino Day Trip is planned for April 29 and a Camping Trip will take place August 11 through 13. For more information on both events contact Roberta Campbell.

Read about Rev. Dr. Davis, his long history of EJ activism, and the scholarship he established here.

Our Thanks for Taking Action

Tell the EPA to Cut Methane Pollution

Green The Church thanks everyone who took the time to submit a comment to the EPA urging our leaders to support safeguards to cut methane and other harmful pollution from the oil and gas industry. Together we took action to defend frontline communities that bear the burden of oil and gas pollution that harms our air, water, and health. Please watch this space for future important calls to action.

Green The Church Membership

Green The Church Membership

Not Yet a GTC Member?

Consider becoming a member for as little as $25 a year or join at any of our other membership levels including the Associate Congregation Membership.

Green The Church is a non-profit organization that depends on membership and donations to inform the Black Church community about work done in the environmental and sustainability movement by other faith communities and organizations. Continue to stay abreast of Green The Church’s current offerings. Consider becoming an Ally, Ambassador, or Advocate member today!

If you’re already a member but haven’t been able to access your exclusive membership portal and digital membership card please contact

DOE Announces Historic Investments to Support America’s Energy and Industrial Communities

U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office

Author: US DOE Staff      WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced several major programs to accelerate domestic clean energy manufacturing and ensure traditionally underserved communities benefit from clean energy technologies. As part of this whole of government approach, DOE is partnering with Treasury and IRS to implement two programs funded by the President’s Inflation Reduction Act: the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program (48(e)), and the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit(48C). Continuing the effort to uplift underserved communities, DOE also opened applications for the $750 million Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to support industrial projects by small- and medium-sized manufacturers in energy communities. These announcements underscore the Administration’s commitment to leading an equitable clean energy transition and supporting the goals of President Biden’s Justice 40 Initiative.

“Underserved communities have the people, the skills, and the willpower, but often lack the opportunities and resources to invest in clean energy infrastructure to revitalize their local economies,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These transformative programs and grants will strengthen the nation ensuring U.S. workers and businesses lead us around the globe and deliver on the President’s promise to not leave communities behind during this critical energy transition.”

Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program

DOE’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program opened for applications today for the first funding opportunity which invests $350 million for small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) to produce or recycle advanced energy property—property used to support clean energy supply chains — in energy communities. A mapping tool is available that shows eligible communities under the program. The program will prioritize applications from minority-owned firms, and all applicants are required to submit a Community Benefits Plan demonstrating the project’s impact and benefits to the host community and region.

An informational webinar on the Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program funding opportunity will be held on February 21, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. ET.  Concept papers are required and are due on March 14, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET, with full applications due on June 8, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET.

DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains manages the program and will also establish a competitive technical assistance program in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to support small- and medium-manufacturers in feasibility analyses and other planning activities in support of the transition of dislocated workers into clean energy jobs and of inactive energy infrastructure into hubs for future economic growth.

Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit Program

The Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) program was established by the 2009 Recovery Act and expanded with a $10 billion investment under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Today, Treasury and IRS, in partnership with DOE, announced the intent to release approximately $4 billion in a first round of tax credits for projects that expand U.S. supply chains for clean energy technologies and critical materials for clean energy technology production, and for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions at industrial facilities. Approximately $1.6 billion of this allocation will be set aside for projects in coal communities. The program will provide an investment tax credit of up to 30% of qualified investments for certified projects that meet prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements.

DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains will lead DOE 48C efforts.

Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program

The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program—also known as 48(e)—advances the Administration’s commitments to equity and environmental justice as the most significant tax incentive in U.S. history to promote clean energy investments in low-income communities, on Tribal Land, and within affordable housing. The program prioritizes the following equity goals:

  • Increasing the adoption of and access to renewable energy facilities in underserved and environmental justice communities.
  • Encouraging new market participants, such as community-based organizations and mission driven entities.
  • Providing substantial benefits to underserved communities and individuals who have been historically marginalized from economic opportunities and overburdened by environmental impacts.

DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity will administer the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program, which will allocate the bonus credit to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of eligible solar and wind capacity per year. Beginning in 2023, a 10 percentage point increase is available to eligible solar and wind facilities that are installed in low-income communities or on Tribal land. A 20 percentage point credit increase will be available to clean energy projects that serve a qualified low-income residential building or provide at least 50% of the financial benefits of electricity generated to low-income households. 

The initial guidance for 2023 allocates the 1.8 GW of capacity across four categories: 700 megawatts (MW) for projects located in low-income communities, including residential rooftop solar, 200 MW for projects on Tribal lands, 200 MW for projects that are part of qualified low-income residential buildings, and 700 MW for projects, such as community solar, that provide economic benefits to low-income households.

Following the release of the initial guidance, DOE and Treasury will continue to engage with the clean energy industry, environmental justice, and community-based organizations to inform how the equity goals are realized in the program’s implementation.

Learn more about the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) and the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program guidance, the Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Program, and Federal Solar Tax Credits for Businesses.

U.S. Black farmers lost $326 bln worth of land in 20th century -study

Author: Leah Douglas      Published:  May 2, 20222 reposted 2/9/2023     Reuters World


A combine drives over stalks of soft red winter wheat during the harvest on a farm in Dixon, Illinois

Black farmers in the United States lost roughly $326 billion worth of acreage during the 20th century, according to the first study to quantify the present-day value of that loss.

Land loss is a contributor to the racial wealth gap in the United States and an issue that has marred the relationship between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and minority farmers.

“Wealth and land is one way in this country that you’re able to grow opportunity for your family,” said Dr. Dania Francis, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and lead author of the study published on Sunday in the American Economic Association’s Papers and Proceedings journal.

“When huge groups of African Americans were denied that opportunity, it speaks to the intergenerational wealth gap that opened up in part due to this type of land loss,” Francis added.

The land loss was due to discriminatory USDA lending policies and forced sales of co-owned land called heirs’ property, among other factors, the study said.

The study calculated the compounded value of declining acreage owned by African Americans between 1920 and 1997 in the 17 states where almost all Black-owned farms were documented, using data from the USDA Census of Agriculture.

“This is not just theoretical, but this is empirical,” said Dr. Darrick Hamilton, economics professor at The New School and another of the study’s authors. “These are real losses that occurred.”

In 1910, Black farmers owned more than 16 million acres of land, according to experts. In 2017, when the most recent agricultural census was done, that figure was just 4.7 million acres, about 0.5% of all farmland.

The $326 billion figure is a conservative estimate, said the study authors, in part because it does not account for multiplier effects, like whether Black farmers could have used lost land as collateral to make other investments.

A Biden administration effort to provide debt relief to farmers of color as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, framed as repair for past USDA discrimination, is currently stalled in court after white farmers argued it was discriminatory. L1N2SY2JW

Patent Pro Bono Program event: Pathways to inclusive innovation

Author: USPTO Staff    Published: 2/8/2023       USPTO Alert

Pro Bono Program image for web

Join us at our next Pro Bono Program event on March 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT, virtually or in person at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The event welcomes all current and aspiring entrepreneurs interested in learning more about succeeding in business. Registration is required. Seats for in-person attendance are limited, so register now to secure your spot. Registered attendees will be emailed instructions for joining virtually or in-person prior to the event.

Leaders in the intellectual property (IP) and small business community will share their stories and tips on how to protect your IP via patents and trademarks, and how to access government resources for starting and maintaining a successful business.

This event is part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Pro Bono Program, a collaboration between the USPTO and 21 independently-operated academic and nonprofit regional programs. Collectively, the 21 regional programs match financially underresourced inventors with patent practitioners in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information about the Pro Bono Program or the regional program in your area, visit the program’s page on the USPTO website. 

For questions about this event, please contact

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $74 Million to Advance Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Author: US DOE Staff    Published 2/8/2023   EERE News

U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Pilot Projects Will Work to Scale EGS, and Help Provide Renewable Geothermal Energy to over 65 Million American Homes


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a funding opportunity of up to $74 million for up to seven pilot projects that will test the efficacy and scalability of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Directed by the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the pilot projects will use innovative technology and a variety of development techniques to capture the Earth’s abundant heat resources in diverse geologic settings. Through this investment, DOE hopes the research and development from the findings would demonstrate the growth and ultimate potential for geothermal energy to provide reliable, around-the-clock electricity to tens of millions of homes across the country. This is DOE’s first funding opportunity for geothermal energy since the launch of the Enhanced Geothermal ShotTM, part of DOE’s Energy EarthShots Initiative, which seeks to cut the cost of geothermal energy 90% by 2035.

“Advances in enhanced geothermal systems will help introduce geothermal energy in regions where, until recently, the use of this renewable power source was thought to be impossible,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These pilot demonstrations will help us realize the enormous potential of the heat beneath our feet to deliver clean, renewable energy to millions of Americans.”

Geothermal energy currently generates about 3.7 gigawatts of electricity in the United States, but a new analysis shows it could provide 90 gigawatts of firm, flexible power to the U.S. grid by 2050, as well as heating and cooling solutions nationwide. This substantial geothermal energy potential is, however, largely inaccessible with conventional geothermal technologies. The use of geothermal energy for electricity requires three elements: heat, fluid, and a permeable section of the Earth’s crust. While heat exists everywhere underground, many locations lack adequate water and/or permeability. EGS employ human-made underground reservoirs to enable the fluid flow necessary to draw geothermal energy to the surface, where it can be captured to power homes across the country. Achieving this goal would make geothermal energy a clean, cost-effective option across the country, while spurring progress toward President Biden’s goals of 100% carbon-pollution-free electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Applications for the BIL-funded EGS Pilot Demonstrations will be accepted over multiple rounds. First-round letters of intent are due March 8, 2023, and first-round applications will be due July 7, 2023. Learn more and read the full Funding Opportunity Announcement.

To help a broad and inclusive range of interested entities apply, DOE is providing a voluntary Teaming Partner List where interested parties can provide contact information and their expertise for use in forming partnerships.

Learn more about EGS and other geothermal research in DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office.