Bipartisan RECLAIM Act Would Provide Millions for West Virginia's Struggling Coal Communities
— Today Congress announced legislation to create the RECLAIM Act (Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More). The legislation would release $1 billion in funding from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund over the next five years to revitalize communities impacted by the decline of the region's coal industry. PDF of news release.
The bill has bipartisan support and is cosponsored by Congressman Evan Jenkins from West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District.
"We applaud this historic bipartisan bill by Congressman Evan Jenkins and others to help diversify West Virginia's economy and help struggling coal communities," said Ted Boettner, Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. "The RECLAIM Act is an important and significant step toward building a stronger economy in West Virginia in the wake of the state's declining coal production."
The RECLAIM Act comes on the heels of 27 resolutions that have been passed by local governments in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee calling for Congress to take action to help aid coalfield communities. In 2015, the County Commissions of Fayette, Kanawha, and Raleigh, Lincoln, and Wyoming passed resolutions in West Virginia.