Across much of the United States, communities have mined, transported, and processed coal for more than 100 years, performing some of the toughest jobs anyone can do. As we transition to a clean energy economy, it's vital that we make investments that give coal workers and their communities a voice in their own economic future as we clean up the environmental and safety problems still posed by abandoned coal mines.
The RECLAIM Act, which will help these communities as America shifts away from fossil fuels, is a common sense piece of legislation. The bipartisan legislation accelerates the distribution of $1 billion in already collected fees for projects that clean up abandoned coal mines, and waters polluted by them, and lays a foundation for economic development and diversification in impacted regions.
This bill will spur job creation and local business investment through projects to clean up abandoned coal mines, restore wildlife habitat, and redevelop sites for new economic opportunities from agriculture to recreational tourism. It’s sponsored by a diverse, bipartisan coalition in Congress, but we still need to build a broader, stronger coalition to ensure it passes.
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