As all eyes turn toward economic relief proposals on the first full day of the Biden Administration, Appalachian Voices and 12 partner organizations working in coal-impacted communities from Navajo Nation to Appalachia are urging the new President to take several immediate actions to support the people and places hit hardest by the decline of the coal industry — a decline accelerated by Covid-19.
Cat McCue, Appalachian Voices, 434-293-6373, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trey Pollard, Just Transition Fund, email@example.com, 202-904-9187
In a letter and background material delivered to the Administration today, these organizations — including the Center for Coalfield Justice, the Colorado AFL-CIO, Tó Nizhóní Ání, the Mountain Association and the Just Transition Fund — are urging President Biden to increase investments in transition programs and create a new White House Office of Coal Community Economic Transition to coordinate work across the federal government.
At a time when the challenges for coal communities are multiplying amid economic, environmental and public health crises, these first steps would begin to create the infrastructure and allocate the resources needed to fulfill and build upon the Biden campaign’s proposals and promises. As detailed in the documents provided to the Administration, this work can start using existing Executive Branch authority.
In addition, implementing the recommended policies is a first step toward implementing the National Economic Transition Platform. This platform consists of a series of community-driven proposals endorsed by these groups and dozens of others in the summer of 2020 that provides federal policymakers with scalable solutions for equitable economic growth in coal communities.
Many of these proposals were reflected in the Biden campaign’s climate plans, and increasing investments in transition programs and creating an office to oversee transition policy is an essential first step toward making them a reality.
The organizations signing today’s letter to President Biden are:
Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center
Center for Coalfield Justice
Generation West Virginia
Just Transition Fund
Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies
Tó Nizhóní Ání
Union of Concerned Scientists
Western Organization of Resource Councils