Legislation to provide funding to coal communities reintroduced

Published on March 30, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Congressman in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives reintroduced the RECLAIM Act this week, a bill that would provide funding to coal communities that have recently experienced significant job loss.

The Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act would release $1 billion from the existing Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund balance to rejuvenate and diversify coal communities and create new jobs.

Reps. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Evan Jenkins (R-WV), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) introduced the bill in the House.

“After eight years of the Obama administration’s war on coal, Appalachia needs help more than ever. Our towns, counties and states need the resources to rebuild, diversify our economy, attract new employers, create jobs, and give hope to the people who call Appalachia home,” Jenkins said. “The RECLAIM Act will spur a new era of investment and revitalization in West Virginia and beyond. I commend Congressman Rogers, Senate Leader McConnell, and my fellow cosponsors for their passion for helping Appalachia and their commitment to getting our economy moving again.”

Two versions of the bill were introduced in the Senate. One was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The second version was introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin, (D-WV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA).

“Mine reclamation supports Virginia jobs, cleans up polluted sites, and restores them for productive use,” Kaine said. “This bill simply takes existing money and puts it to work on these projects. I’m proud to join Senator Warner and our Appalachian state colleagues on this common sense bill.”