Support a Just Transition for Coal Communities

 

The RECLAIM Act would help communities struggling with the decline of the coal industry to make a just transition by disbursing $1 billion over five years from the federal Abandoned Mine Lands fund.

It could bring $100 million to Kentucky to repair our land and water in places that are struggling with the decline of the coal industry. The bill was created to fund the reclamation of old strip mine sites in ways that would create economic and community development.

The RECLAIM Act must pass with strong provisions for economic development and community participation.

After hearing from a grassroots, community-led movement, the RECLAIM Act was introduced in Congress by Congressman Hal Rogers and Senator Mitch McConnell. Rogers has been a champion of the bill and introduced it in the previous Congress. The bill that was introduced this year was incomplete as it did not require economic development or community participation related to the reclamation of the abandoned sites.

However, it passed the House Natural Resources committee with an amendment that fixed this oversight. This house version of the RECLAIM Act needs to be attached to the federal budget that congress has to pass by March 23rd. To do this we need Senator Mitch McConnell to agree to have the RECLAIM Act attached to the Budget.

If Senator McConnell agrees to attach the House version of the RECLAIM Act to the Budget Bill we can pass this important legislation and enabling Kentucky’s struggling coal mining regions to take a step toward a brighter future.