Legislation would support workers, communities during the energy transition
Washington, D.C. (September 19, 2014) – Congressmen David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced legislation that would support workers and communities during America’s energy transition, create opportunities to grow new jobs, encourage investment, and jumpstart new technologies. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas:
“On behalf of the BlueGreen Alliance, I wish to thank Congressmen Welch and McKinley for their work on the Healthy Employee Loss Prevention (HELP) Act of 2014. It’s critical that we support workers and their communities when jobs are lost due to no fault of their own—which is what is happening in the coal industry. We applaud Reps. Welch and McKinley for showing the leadership to take this issue head on.
“The HELP Act is a good start, but could be strengthened in several key areas. We should ensure that skills development and re-employment programs actually lead to quality employment, matching or exceeding the well-paid jobs that have been lost. Support for pension and benefits of displaced workers is key to ensuring a decent standard of living, and efforts to support investment and economic development and diversification in these communities—where new jobs can be created—should not be overlooked.
“As a coalition of both labor unions and environmental organizations, both committed to protecting workers and communities, we look forward to working with Reps. Welch and McKinley, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to move and improve this critical piece of legislation until it becomes law.”