Over the next several decades, the United States and the world will need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst effects of climate change. This imperative implies an unprecedented transition in the energy system away from greenhouse-gas-emitting fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and toward clean energy sources, such as wind, solar, and nuclear, along with emerging technologies, such as large-scale energy storage and carbon capture, use, and storage. This transition will be challenging for a variety of technical, political, and socioeconomic reasons.
This report seeks to inform transition planning by identifying the regions of the United States that will experience substantial economic changes due to a shift away from fossil fuels. These communities will require considerable attention and funding from federal policymakers to support employment, economic development, public finances, and more as the production and consumption of fossil fuels decline.