America’s Energy Transition: Supporting Dislocated Coal and Oil Refinery Workers
America’s energy transition is well underway, but a transition that is fair for workers and communities isn’t something that will happen organically. Prioritizing and targeting federal resources to workers and communities in places impacted by this shift must be a deliberate choice. A broad range of policy measures and funding are needed to support these workers and communities, as outlined in the BlueGreen Alliance’s National Energy Transition Policy Framework.
One critical piece of this agenda is providing a robust package of support for workers who have borne and will continue to bear the brunt of job loss in this energy transition: workers dislocated from coal mines, coal power plants, and oil refineries.
- Wage replacement or a wage differential, whichever is applicable, for 5 years (as proposed in the Colorado Just Transition Action Plan);
- Five years of pension credits and pension contributions and/or 5 years of 401(k) contributions and Social Security benefit credits as applicable for all affected workers regardless of age;
- Five years of healthcare support to allow workers to keep their plan or secure similar coverage; and
- Education and training assistance for dislocated workers and education benefits for their children.
RECOMMENDATION: Congress should allocate at least $32 billion over ten years to assist coal workers and oil refinery workers in the shift to a clean energy economy.
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