Abandoned Mine Land Project Moving Forward
A few weeks ago, President Obama announced the POWER+ Plan for the FY 2016 budget that prioritizes opportunities for economic diversification and development in coalfield communities, creating a large buzz (see News Updates below). This budget proposal is a step toward recognition for the potential for new and just economies to thrive in Central Appalachia, but it is far from the beginning of the conversation. Workers, state officials, community groups, political heads–people across Central Appalachia have been asking for years: “What’s next for our region as the coal economy declines?”
That question will be explored in an upcoming whitepaper from our Economic Transition team that looks at the Abandoned Mine Lands fund’s potential to help revitalize local economies while mitigating dangerous environmental conditions left behind from old coal mines.
This timely project is a culmination of research led by Eric Dixon and Kendall Bilbrey, AppFellows working with The Alliance for Appalachia’s Economic Transition team, Appalachian Citizen’s Law Center and the Highlander Center.
On April 2nd, The Alliance for Appalachia and Appalachian Citizens Law Center will co-host an Abandoned Mine Lands Summit and training–to work with community leaders from Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee and Virginia to learn about the Fund, the findings of the whitepaper, and to explore how we as a region can begin to advocate for these important changes.
To support this important work, or to help us provide scholarships to community members who wish to attend the spring summit to learn more about these issues, donate here!
Upcoming Strategy Meetings
Now is the time for us to work together to push the Obama administration for urgent action to protect mountain communities from the impacts of mountaintop removal and to begin planning for a sustainable future for Appalachia.
In the next month, The Alliance will be hosting several strategy meetings as we map out the course of our year. On March 11th, we’ll be hosting a national strategy meeting in Washington, DC. We invite representatives from our member groups, other regional stakeholders and national allies to join us in aligning our efforts.
March 31st-April 1st will be our Spring Steering Meeting; it is an opportunity for our member groups to gather to share work updates, set strategy and build our regional work. For more information about any of these upcoming meetings, contact Samantha@TheAllianceforAppalachia.org