LWVUS sent a letter of support endorsing Senator Manchin’s Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act to recover and reinvest in Appalachian communities. The Act distributes funds to states with abandoned mine lands so that those lands can be restored and converted to community development projects. For those states transitioning away from the coal industry, this opportunity represents systematic investment in economic and environmental justice.
September 25, 2020
The Honorable Joe Manchin
306 Hart Senate Office
Washington, D.C. 20510
RE: S.1232, Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act
Dear Senator Joe Manchin,
On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Leagues across West Virginia, Appalachia, and the nation, the League of Women Voters supports S.1232, the Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act.
As we understand, this measure will release $1 billion in unappropriated funds to reinvest in local economic development and environmental recovery in states and tribes abandoned by the coal industry. These investment projects will ensure favorable conditions for future economic and community development and repair abandoned mine lands for new land use.
For decades, the League of Women Voters has supported the stewardship and conservation of lands and natural resources. But for our local and state leagues across Appalachia, this bill amounts to more than just environmental restoration. The RECLAIM Act is a first step towards repairing the economies of communities adversely affected by coal mining. We appreciate Senator Manchin’s long allyship in replacing coal mining jobs and transitioning energy economies in West Virginia. We applaud your work legislating community development and solar installation training – real steps towards repairing systemic disinvestment in Appalachia. The next step is passing the RECLAIM Act to authorize funds for abandoned mine land reclamation and reuse.
The League of Women Voters strongly endorses this legislation and encourages all members of the Senate to support the legislation in committee and when it comes to the floor for a vote.
Virginia Kase, CEO
League of Women Voters of the United States