Blog Archives

SWVA advocates urge Congress to fight for investments to tackle growing black lung crisis

With coal miners in Southwestern Virginia facing an epidemic as black lung disease hits unprecedented levels and 1 in 5 veteran coal miners in Central Appalachia now suffer from the disease, advocates today called on Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and Sens. Warner and Kaine, D-Va. to prioritize investments in taking care of miners in the 2025 federal budget.


NEW analysis: Black lung benefits fall dramatically behind cost of living for sick miners and their families

normal human lung compared to diseased lung

A new analysis from Appalachian Voices and Appalachian Citizens Law Center finds that the cost of living is significantly higher than black lung benefits payments received by many miners with black lung and their families, illustrating the urgent need for congressional action to update how benefits are calculated and deployed.


Four ways you can support Appalachian communities in the new year!

In 2023, Appalachian advocates made several advancements in the fight for greater protections for rural communities and families affected by black lung but as we enter 2024, an ongoing battle in Congress over spending is threatening to undo much of this progress while also cutting programs that benefit these communities.


‘A moral imperative:’ Two bills would support miners with black lung and their families

Dec. 13 was a day that Vonda Robinson had been waiting over three years for. On that day, Rep. Morgan McGarvey, D-Ky., introduced the Relief for Survivors of Miners Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Legislators & advocates highlight major black lung legislation & fight back against attacks on new silica dust rule

This afternoon, lawmakers and advocates for miners with black lung called on Congress to pass major legislation during a virtual press conference. Leaders from the National Black Lung Association, Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center and Appalachian Voices were joined by U.S. Rep. Morgan McGarvey (D-Ky.), who announced the introduction of the Relief for Survivors of Miners Act of 2023, which would ease the process for families of deceased miners to apply for black lung benefits, and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), a lead sponsor for the Black Lung Benefits Improvement Act, which would help miners access the benefits they deserve.


RESCHEDULED: Advocates Urge Congress to Advance Major Black Lung Legislation & Halt Attacks on New Silica Dust Rule

A group photo of members of the Black Lung Association

Next week, lawmakers and advocates for miners with black lung will discuss major new black lung legislation — including the Black Lung Benefits Improvement Act introduced today — during a virtual press conference.


NEW REPORT: Benefits for coal miners with black lung falling behind

This morning, advocates for miners with black lung and their families released a new report detailing how black lung benefit payments have fallen far behind the cost of living, putting ailing miners and their dependents among the most at risk as inflation continues to rise.


Community advocates urge Congress to include key coal community investments in forthcoming budget legislation

Congressional appropriations leaders are preparing to release omnibus spending legislation for FY2023 today, and community advocates from across coal country are urging them to ensure several long-standing priority investments are included. Advocates argue that the omnibus legislation is an important opportunity to get three key provisions over the finish line.


Permanent extension of black lung excise tax gives miners peace of mind

At this May 12, 2022, press conference, leaders from the Black Lung Association launched a statewide campaign for a long-term extension of the black lung excise tax.

Miners with black lung and their advocates scored a huge victory in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act, which permanently extended the black lung excise tax that supports the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.


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