Congress reinstated a tax to fund healthcare and benefits for miners with black lung and their families for 2020 — but further action is needed to extend the tax and support the fund for 10 years.
As Appalachia’s coal industry continues to decline, the scale of the damage it has cas becomes even more apparent.
Bankrupt coal company Blackjewel owes nearly $10 million in taxes to the fund that provides benefits to miners with black lung disease whose employer has gone bankrupt.
In July, Appalachian Voices traveled to Capitol Hill alongside about 150 miners, widows and their loved ones to demand Congress to restore proper funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. And in June, we joined other organizations in a visit to D.C. to ask legislators to co-sponsor the RECLAIM Act to fast-track abandoned mine reclamation.
Approximately 150 Appalachian coal miners, widows and their loved ones visited Capitol Hill in July to demand that Congress reinstate a tax rate on coal companies for black lung healthcare and benefits.
More than 150 coal miners or their widows and loved ones traveled to D.C. in July to call for action on black lung legislation.
Over 100 miners from across the Appalachian region are traveling to Washington D.C. this week to lobby lawmakers on a number of issues related to black lung disease, a fatal respiratory condition caused by continuous exposure to harmful dust and rock particles in and around coal mines.
The deadly disease is on the rise, but funding for healthcare will be halved unless Congress acts this year.
Our elected representatives need to step up and make sure coal companies pay their fair share toward healthcare for coal miners with black lung disease.
A recent study shows that black lung disease in Appalachian coal miners is at a 25-year high — but federal taxes on coal companies that help compensate affected miners are set to expire next year.