By Brian Sewell
Central Appalachian communities weathering coal’s long decline would see a boost in funding under the White House budget released in February.
The Obama administration’s 2016 budget calls for an additional $200 million per year over the next five years to restore dangerous, unreclaimed mines, mostly in the Appalachian region.
The budget proposal also includes $20 million to provide employment services and job training specifically to help laid-off coal miners and power plant employees transition to jobs in other fields. The Appalachian Regional Commission would see its $70 million budget grow by roughly one-third, with $25 million in new funding directed to communities “most impacted by coal economic transition” to support a range of economic development initiatives.
The president’s proposed budget may never become law, but legislators are likely to debate the measures as Congress crafts its own budget proposals.