Energy leader encourages engagement with Justice 40 investments

PALO ALTO — The Biden-Harris administration’s Justice 40 initiative, devoting 40 percent of more than $1.6 trillion in infrastructure, energy and research spending to underserved communities, is not threatened by attacks on race-based programs, according to a top Energy Dept. leader.

Shaleya Morissette, chief of minority business and workforce in the Office of Energy Justice and Equity in the U.S. Department of Energy, said a matrix of more than 30 factors, none race-related, is used to determine where Justice 40 funding can best address historic disparities.

She listed the funding opportunities in the second largest department in the federal government during the Roy Clay Series: Driving Innovation on May 7 at the Wade Institute of Technology in Palo Alto.

Between the Chips and Science Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and Inflation Reduction Act, more than $1.6 trillion will flow into long-term investments to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and prepare for climate impacts.    The executive order by President Biden could bring as much as $640 billion into long-ignored communities.