Over 100 organizations, including the Alliance for Appalachia and several of our members, have added our names to a sign-on letter urging House Leadership to prioritize several bills that would aid coal-impacted communities across America. These bills have stalled in Congress, despite bipartisan support and an urgent need for solutions in former coal mining communities. The letter was sent to House Leadership last week.
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) joined advocates from Appalachia in a press call to urge an end to the delays. Cartwright joined advocates to urge that House Leadership bring the following legislation to the floor:
- Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act Amendments of 2019 (H.R.4248), to address the clean-up of dangerous and polluting abandoned mine lands;
- RECLAIM Act (H.R. 2156), to spur immediate job creation and create the conditions for longer-term, locally-driven economic development efforts in coal communities; and
- Black Lung Benefits Disability Trust Fund Solvency Act (H.R.3876), to adequately fund the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund at the prior level for 10 years.
“My hometown, like many others in the coalfields, deserves attention, clean water, good paying jobs, and a better quality of life. There is a great opportunity for those who have worked in the coal industry in the field of abandoned mine reclamation. Mine reclamation can become a major generator for job creation,” said speaker Bobby Hughes.
Advocates on the call included WV State Delegate Evan Hansen, Betty Sue Hess (Vansant, VA Black Lung Assoc.), Dean Vance (Black Lung Assoc. of SWVA), and Bobby Hughes (Eastern PA Coalition of Abandoned Mine Reclamation). The full press release, including remarks from these advocates, is located here.
You can help us keep the conversation going online by retweeting:
E&E article: https://twitter.com/Bwillisful/status/1237415301647683584?s=20
Press Call coverage: https://twitter.com/Bwillisful/status/1237415803886198784?s=20
Thanks to Cartwright: https://twitter.com/AppVoices/status/1237093449586925573
@ your Representatives: https://twitter.com/AppVoices/status/1237096800026275845
Wyoming supports the RECLAIM Act: https://twitter.com/PRBResCouncil/status/1237051454369812483
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