RECLAIM Act

Carol Guzy for NPR

Kentucky State Rep. Angie Hatton met with lawmakers in Washington D.C. this week to push for a bill that would bring home more than $100 million for hard-hit coal communities.

The RECLAIM Act would fast-track the distribution of $1 billion to clean up abandoned coal mines and promote economic development in communities across Appalachia, Colorado and Illinois — including $116 million for coal counties in the Commonwealth.

For decades, Kentucky has mined the coal that has powered the nation, but production and employment is less than half of what it was a decade ago.

CVI

A congressional subcommittee will hear testimony Thursday in support of a bill that would help clean up and redevelop surface mine land. The bill enjoys bipartisan support, but still faces hurdles.

A 2015 report found that as many as 6.2 million acres of land and water were harmed by mining operations that ended prior to 1977, when significant standards were put in place to protect communities and environments near mine sites.


Gabe Bullard

A U.S. House committee has advanced a bill that would send a billion dollars for mine reclamation and economic development in coal communities.

The RECLAIM Act was first proposed in 2016 by Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers. It authorizes the release of $1 billion over five years from the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The money would be earmarked for cleaning up abandoned mine sites, as well as identifying and funding economic development projects on the sites.

Rogers’ spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Mending Mining Country: Three Ways Trump Could Help Miners And Coal Communities

May 15, 2017
Alexandra Kanik

At a March ceremony to sign an executive order reversing Obama-era environmental regulations, coal miners were arranged on stage around President Donald Trump as he took up his pen.

“You know what it says, right?” Trump asked the miners. “You’re going back to work.”

From his campaign rallies to White House events, President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with coal miners and promised to restore their collapsed industry.