The POWER+ Plan, a budget proposal made by the White House earlier this year, would steer tens of millions of dollars to help diversify the economies of communities in Appalachia that have for decades relied heavily on coal.
Appalachian Voices has been busy promoting the plan, which would among other things support job retraining for former miners, provide funds for communities to make critical infrastructure improvements and direct new funding to clean up abandoned mines while creating new jobs.
At the end of July, Norton, Va., became the first city in the U.S. to formally adopt a resolution supporting POWER+. The City Council also urged the state’s congressional representatives to support “any plan that targets redevelopment funding opportunities for our region.” Appalachian Voices championed the resolution with Norton’s leaders, and we commend them for leading the way on this vital issue.
Unfortunately, members of Congress, including representatives from Appalachia, have been less than supportive of the measure, with the U.S. House budget bill cutting Virginia entirely out of the Abandoned Mined Lands funding reforms that were spelled out in the plan and the U.S. Senate propelling a budget through committee that leaves out any mention of POWER+ altogether.
Keep up-to-date on this evolving issue at appvoices.org/frontporchblog.