Building Shared Prosperity & Clean Energy

Generations of fossil fuel development have hollowed out the Ohio River Valley economy, hemorrhaging jobs and accelerating population decline. Investing in the region’s energy transition is an opportunity to spur job growth and shared prosperity across the region.

Clean energy generation, energy efficiency retrofits, quality-of-life focused development, and large-scale initiatives to repair the damage from the oil and gas industry could create tens of thousands of jobs and revitalize long-struggling communities.  Here’s how.

“A clean energy pathway for Western Pennsylvania is less costly, creates more jobs, and more effectively reduces climate-warming emissions relative to a pathway centered around natural gas and carbon capture.” 



A Bigger Bang Approach to Economic Development

Ohio State University analysis shows that investments in high-multiplier industries can help create jobs and boost incomes in struggling communities.

Targeted Employment: Reconnecting Appalachia’s Disconnected Workforce

Appalachian coal country has a critical need for more employment. A national subsidized employment program could help reconnect prime-age workers to the workforce.

Green Steel in the Ohio River Valley: The Timing is Right for the Rebirth of a Clean, Green Steel Industry

A transition to fossil fuel-free “green” steelmaking could grow steel-related jobs and slash carbon emissions.

A Clean Energy Pathway for Southwestern Pennsylvania

Transitioning to clean energy means job growth, shared prosperity, and a safer, cleaner future for Western Pennsylvania.

The Centralia Model for Economic Transition in Distressed Communities

Centralia, Washington, a former coal town with a now-booming economy, could provide a model for clean energy and economic transition in distressed communities in Appalachia and beyond.

Repairing the Damage from Hazardous Abandoned Oil & Gas Wells

A large-scale federal program to plug abandoned oil and gas wells in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia could create thousands of well-paying jobs across the region.

Cleaning Up the Land, Air, and Water Damaged by the Coal Industry Before 1977

Cleaning up Appalachia’s thousands of acres of abandoned mine lands could create jobs, reduce climate-warming emissions, improve quality of life, and minimize environmental damage.

Cleaning Up Hazardous Coal Ash Can Create Jobs and Improve the Environment

Cleaning up hazardous coal ash sites in the Ohio Valley can alleviate environmental and public health threats and create jobs.

Options and Opportunities for Coal Plant Communities: Pennsylvania and RGGI

Revenue from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) could aid economic development in coal communities facing plant closures and energy market changes.

 All research on Shared Prosperity & Clean Energy:

2023 in Review

2023 in Review

Together, a more prosperous, sustainable, and equitable Appalachia is possible. That’s the vision that has geared our data-driven research, guided our outreach and campaigns, and grounded our work in the region’s community and culture ever since the Ohio River Valley...

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Pennsylvania Senate Hydrogen Hub Testimony Illuminates Cost, Viability Concerns; Risk of Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

Pennsylvania Senate Hydrogen Hub Testimony Illuminates Cost, Viability Concerns; Risk of Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

Financial and regulatory support for the gas-based ARCH2 Appalachian Hydrogen Hub risks reduced economic growth, fewer jobs, and higher utility bills, taxes, and prices for Pennsylvanians, according to testimony delivered today at the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee’s hearing on hydrogen infrastructure by Ohio River Valley Institute Senior Researcher Sean O’Leary.

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