RECLAIM Act a Step Forward to Help Coal Communities

Coal-dependent communities around the country are struggling and the RECLAIM Act could inject much needed investment in economic development—if done right.

WASHINGTON, DC (March 28, 2017) –The RECLAIM Act—a bill that would invest $1 billion into communities impacted by the decline of the coal industry with the aim of creating new jobs and development opportunities through the reclamation of abandoned coal mines—was introduced by in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Mark Warner (D-VA). Another version of the bill was also introduced in both chambers by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Representatives Hal Rodgers ( KY-5), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), and others.

Following the introduction of the bills, the BlueGreen Alliance issued a statement from Executive Director Kim Glas:

“The RECLAIM Act will help communities in coal country that are struggling revitalize and grow job opportunities for working people. We are pleased that members of both parties have listened to the grassroots movements in their states and recognize the need to aid coal-dependent communities and that the reclamation of mines can be a positive driver of economic development.

“We urge Congress to swiftly move forward a strong RECLAIM Act, like the one put forward by Sen. Manchin and others. This version keeps the fundamental purpose of this bill intact: helping struggling communities with economic development.

“We hope that congressional leadership will keep this fundamental purpose in tact and make other improvements to ensure that a final bill will actually aid communities and workers struggling to rebuild and revitalize their economies.”